By Christopher Ambe
Cameroon’s first ever senatorial election, Sunday April 14, took place in an atmosphere of peace and serenity, and has been generally described by both international and local observers as free and fair.
The official proclamation of Sunday’s senatorial election results by the Supreme Court(sitting in for the Constitutional Council yet to go operational ) is expected in two weeks ,although it is everybody’s guess that, the ruling CPDM, which had the majority of electors will win
About ten thousand municipal councilors constituted the Electoral College, with reports saying that 98% of them actually voted.
Senate, an upper house of Cameroon’s Parliament, is provided for by the country’s 1996 Constitution. But it took the Biya’s government 17 years to convene the first senatorial polls in spite of the importance of this institution.
According to Cameroon constitution, when the office of the President of the Republic becomes vacant, the head of the Senate shall as of right act as interim president, until a new president of the Republic is elected.
Only four political parties (CPDM, SDF, UDC and NUDP out of Cameroon’s over 200 political parties participated in the 100-member house senatorial poll. The election was to have 70 senators while President Biya, according to law, will single-handed, appoint the remaining 30 to the 100-member Senate.
The National Assembly, the other house of Parliament, has 180 members.
Senators shall serve a term of five (5) years. Each of Cameroon’s ten regions shall be represented in Senate by 10 senators of whom Seven (7) are elected and three (3) appointed by the President of the Republic
The senatorial election is the second organized by ELECAM,Cameroon’s election management body, after the 2011 Presidential that saw decades-serving President Biya reelected.
After the proclamation of the senatorial election results, ELECAM shall proceed with the distribution of voter cards for the coming municipal and parliamentary polls bill also billed for this year.