Post-Election Litigations. Constitutional Council Begin Examining Petitions this Tuesday

The Clement Atangana led Council, will examine the 18 petitions tabled in its registry before proclaiming the October 7 presidential election on or before October 22.

Shawn-Nathan EPANG

The electoral process for the October 7 presidential election is getting to its decisive phase as the Constitutional Council will this Tuesday October 16, begin examining post electoral complaints submitted to it by litigants.  After the polling on October 7, the Constitutional Council as per the Electoral Code has 72 hours to receive petitions. At the expiry of the deadline, the Constitutional Council had received 18 petitions. Thus, a press release issued by the Secretary General of the Constitutional Council, Magistrate Joseph Malegho Aseh, states that hearing of post-election petitions begins this Tuesday at 11 am at the Hall of the Council located at the Yaounde Conference Centre.

The 18 petitions were filed in by five persons, three of which (Maurice Kamto, Joshua Osih and Cabral Libii) were candidates at the presidential election while the other two were not.

Maurice Kamto, candidate of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement (CRM) petitioned the Constitutional Council to partially annul elections in seven regions of the country notably; the Adamawa, East, South, North, Far North, South West and North West Regions. To him, elections in these regions were marred with irregularities. In the two English-speaking regions for example, he says insecurity marred elections.

Joshua Osih, the SDF candidate and Cabral Libii of the UNIVERS party have both petitioned the Constitutional Council to completely cancel the October 7 presidential election.

As for, Bertin Kisob, National President of the Cameroon Party for Social Justice (CPSJ), whose candidature papers were thrown out by the Constitutional Council prior to the election has tabled 14 petitions alone.  According to the Constitutional Council, Bertin Kisob’s petitions can be grouped into two categories. Firstly, the National President of the CPSJ has petitioned the Constitutional Council to cancel all results obtained in the country and abroad by Paul Bia, the presidential candidate of the ruling Cameron People’s Democratic Movement (CPDM). He blames “systematic electoral fraud and anti-democratic practices.” Kisob, who is a detainee at the Kondengui Central Prison in Yaounde and presents himself as an ally to Maurice Kamto, also petitioned against the Constitutional Council. To him, the Constitutional Council should declare itself incompetent to supervise and proclaim the results of the October 7 presidential election. Kisob also raises other issues in his hand scripted petitions.

Just like Kisob, Rev Gabanmidanha Rigobert Aminou, whose candidacy was also rejected by the Constitutional Council before the October 7 election, also calls on the Council to invalidate results obtained by the CPDM candidate.

The petitioners, we gathered, have aligned a battery of defence lawyers to defend their case when the matter comes up this Tuesday at the Court hall of the Constitutional Council. ELECAM legal department as well as CPDM crack team of lawyers are also set for the legal battle this Tuesday in Yaounde. The decision of the Constitutional Council is final and subject to no appeal.

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