Saturday, December 4, 2010

Cameroon:Ensuring transparent elections not solely ELEACAM’s responsibility, says Njeuma.

By Christopher Ambe Shu
Political parties have been implored to be more active and join ELECAM in the various stages of the electoral process to ensure the most-sought for transparency.

Professor Dorothy Njeuma:ELECAM official.

 Professor Mrs. Dorothy L. Njeuma, one of 12 members of the Electoral Board of ELECAM, Cameroon’s election management body, who made the appeal, was speaking on Monday in Buea at a press conference to mark her end of a three-week tour of the Southwest region to assess the functioning of ELECAM, its facilities and get suggestions for improvement.

“It is not the sole responsility of ELECAM to organize transparent elections. It is also the responsility of political parties, as stake holders, in ensuring that the electoral processes are transparent. That is why they are represented in various commissions”, Njeuma said.

Njeuma stressed that ELECAM cannot on their own provide all the means to commission members, noting that the state gives subvention to parties to help facilitate their functioning.

She was reacting to some views held by opposition party representatives in electoral commission that they ought to be taken care of by ELECAM.
The ELECAM board member narrated her experiences during the tour that took her to all six divisions of the region and to 20 out of the 31 subdivisions of the Southwest.

She said problems got from her tour begging for solutions included poor communication /telephone network in some areas, complaints of high cost to have identity cards by many in remote areas, insufficient personnel and equipment.

Njeuma said the various problems and suggestions would be tabled for consideration at the next ELECAM board meeting.

She disclosed that as at November, almost 94,000 voters had registered in the sothwest region, out of which, 35,000 are new entrants.

NB:First published in The RECORDER newspaper,Cameroon ,of 2nd  December,2010

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