25 November 2012

Cameroon: Government Proposes Three Additional Months for MPs

The bill extending the term of office of MPs was tabled in Parliament on November 24.

The government on November 24, 2012, tabled bill N° 922/PJL/AN to extend the term of office of Members of the National Assembly. The bill tabled during a plenary sitting of the House chaired by the Speaker, Hon. Cavaye Yeguie Djibril, states that the three-month extension takes effect from February 22, 2013 and likely to expire on May 22, 2013.

The term of office of Members of the National Assembly was following Law N° 2012/7 of 19 April 2012 extended by six months, renewable, if need be. The extension took effect from August 21, 2012 and was to expire on February 21, 2013.

In the explanatory statement to the bill, government justified that the introduction of the biometric system in the voters registration process was a new and complex experience in the country, stating that the ongoing recompilation of the electoral registers may be completed only by early March 2013. "The President of the Republic, in accordance with the provisions of Article 15(4) (new) of the Constitution, held consultations with the President of the Supreme Court, acting in lieu of the Constitutional Council (Article 67 (4) of the Constitution) and with the National Assembly Bureau, on behalf of Parliament, with a view to further extending the term of office of Members of the National Assembly by a law, for a period of three months, with effect from 22 February 2013.", the statement said.

The President of the Supreme Court issued a non-objection position on November 19, 2012, which specified that the extension requested was in conformity with the Constitution. This was on the grounds that the biometric recompilation of the electoral registers, which may not be completed until February 28, 2013, " is a circumstance warranting a further extension of the term of office of the National Assembly". The members of the Bureau of the National Assembly, meeting on November 19, 2012, equally unanimously approved the principle of the said extension. The bill on the extension will be examined by the members of the Committee on Constitutional Laws before its final scrutiny and adoption during a plenary sitting of the National Assembly.

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