25 November 2012

Cameroon: Legislative Election Deposit Drops to FCFA One Million

Members of the National Assembly on November 23 adopted bill amending Electoral Code.

The President of the Republic, Paul Biya, will in the days ahead promulgate into law bill N° 918/PJL/AN to amend and supplement some provisions of Law N° 2012/1 of 19 April 2012 relating to the Electoral Code, the Members of Parliament voted during a plenary sitting of the House on Friday, November 23, 2012.

The Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralisation, René Emmanuel Sadi defended the bill in the plenary chaired by House Speaker, Hon. Cavaye Yeguie Djibril. This was in the presence of the Vice Prime Minister, Minister Delegate at the Presidency in charge of Relations with the Assemblies, Amadou Ali. Contrary to the proposed that the deposit to be paid by a candidate and his alternate to run for Parliament be reduced from FCFA 3 million contained in the Electoral Code to FCFA 1 million.

The amendment to Section 166 of the Electoral Code, government argues, "is designed to rationalise nominations and to maintain an amount that does not seriously undermine the financial capacity of citizens aspiring to political roles of MPs or senators." The amendment is also in response to concerns voiced by some MPs regarding the increase of deposits required to run for parliament and is "part of the efforts to improve the electoral system as prescribed by the President."

Other amendments in the Electoral Code concern Section 84 in which a fourth paragraph had been added to extend the period for distributing voters cards. It specifies that in the event of recompilation, such distribution may take place once such cards are issued, under appropriate technical conditions.

The bill further adjusts the time-frames specific to senatorial elections contained in Sections 230 and 231 of the Electoral Code. In view of election of senators, the Electoral College shall be convened by the President of the Republic at least 45 days before the date of the poll, instead of 90 days as provided in the Electoral Code.

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