John Fru Ndi: « Le Sdf invite les camerounais Ă se lever et lutter pour une commission Ă©lectorale crĂ©dible »
The Minister of External Relations recently summoned the Head of Diplomatic Missions and International Organizations accredited to Cameroon to present the Biya government’s position following the disappointment expressed by the International Community with regards to the appointment of CPDM stalwarts at the helm of ELECAM. Mr. Eyebe Ayissi opined that the pronouncements of members of the diplomatic corps tantamount to interference in the domestic affaires of Cameroon and constitute a gross disregard of its sovereignty.
In announcing in advance the results of the yet to be held Presidential election of 2011, Mr. Eyebe Ayissi told the diplomats that the Kenyan and Zimbabwean experiences will never be tolerated in Cameroon , thereby declaring war on the Cameroonian electorate. In order words, the Biya government is resolute in its determination to force the results of the 2011 presidential election down the throats of Cameroonians. This justifies the sudden increase in the training of the rapid intervention battalion which usually is unleashed to crush political dissent and social upheavals.
Be that as it may, the diplomatic missions only reacted to the actions of a government reputed for violating their own laws and excelling in deceit. Their reaction following the appointment of ELECAM members, the Director General and his assistant, underscored their disgust with a government known for non-respect of commitments over the years.
It would be recalled that on admission into the Commonwealth, President Biya promised his peers to fully comply with the Harare Declaration which constituted conditions sine qua non for admission.
Unfortunately, since admission:
– The human rights abuses have continued unabated.
– There has been no improvement in the constitutional reforms or respect of the present constitution drafted by them.
– Civil liberties have been suppressed.
– Dissent in any manner is ruthlessly silenced or crushed.
– The political forum for political parties represented in the National Assembly has been suppressed on CRTV and declarations of the SDF Chairman are censured by the Biya regime.
The appointment of members of ELECAM was supposed to reflect the Biya government’s good faith and determination to advance the democratic process through the organization of free, fair and transparent elections which would ensure its continuous membership in the Commonwealth and thus merit respect in the comity of Nations. This explains the frustration of Cameroonians and the International Community aptly expressed by the Presidency of the European Union in these words; » . the European Union regrets the delay that has preceded these nominations and the fact that the overwhelming majority of the nominees have affiliations to one and the same political party, notwithstanding the consultations with stakeholders that preceded the appointments. The European Union calls on the government of Cameroon to take all necessary steps to create the necessary legislative and administrative environment for electoral reform to guarantee the operational independence of ELECAM . »
It is discernable from this declaration that ELECAM in its present outfit is not credible and our electoral system needs reform. The pertinent criticisms of these friendly countries are intended to make us better and not bitter. Their reaction, which is within the framework of the political dialogue envisaged in Article 8 of the Cotonou ACP- EC agreement of June 2000, cannot therefore be considered or termed interference in domestic affairs nor disregard for sovereignty. On the contrary, it is a magnificent demonstration not only of their friendship but their commitment to assist us in our development efforts which are being compromised by the inept and corrupt regime of Mr. Paul Biya. Unlike Minister Ayissi and the Biya government, these diplomats know that institutions, and not persons, are at the center of democracy and good governance. It is only through solid institutions that we can guarantee long term stability, which is a pre-requesite for foreign investment and job creation for the youths.
Furthermore, if the representatives of the diplomatic community are openly expressing their views, this is because they are not oblivious to the lamentable history of elections mismanagement in Cameroon since 1992 and the numerous unfulfilled promises made by the Biya government following their various good offices to bring about change in the Cameroon Electoral process.
Silence on their part in the name of diplomacy would have been politically unsound and morally wrong having regard to the consequences of mismanaged elections to regional peace, stability and economic development for; Injustice anywhere, is a threat to Justice everywhere.
The SDF wishes to salute the position adopted by the International Community and call on them not to relent in their quest for assisting Cameroon in putting in place credible and acceptable democratic institutions which guarantee good governance and accountability. In the same vein, the SDF invites all Cameroonians to stand up and fight for an electoral organ that will install a computer program which, on registration, produces the voter’s card containing the photograph, the polling station and the voter’s registration number.
Thank you for your kind attention.
Ni John Fru Ndi, National Chairman SDF