22 October 2018

Cameroon: Electoral Materials - Organisational Success

Photo: Xinhua
President Paul Biya.

The five political leaders and candidates in the October 7, 2018 presidential elections who filed petitions at the Constitutional Council calling for either the total or partial cancellation of the election did not have much to complain about with regard to the electoral material. Speaking to Cameroon Tribune shortly after the election, the Director General of Elections at Elections Cameroon (ELECAM), Erik Essoussè said the body went to work immediately after the convening of electors to the polls by President Paul Biya on July 7, 2018. He said they put in place sector commissions that worked in a chain.

The methodology put in place enabled ELECAM to dispatch electoral materials to the field two weeks before the day of election in order to anticipate and pre-empt any unforeseen contingencies. ELECAM intensified the revision of electoral registers until the October 7, 2018 presidential election in which its statistics indicate that by election day, over 6,600,192 Cameroonians were duly registered within the country and 19,356 abroad.

Following the number of registered voters, ELECAM attributed 24,988 polling stations within the country and 66 polling stations abroad. With the precision on registered voters, polling stations, ELECAM worked tooth and nail to provide the needed materials in the polling stations and other venues.

It awarded the contract for the printing of the ballot papers of the nine candidates for the October 7, 2018 election to the Cameroon News and Publishing Corporation (SOPECAM) and that for the production of all sorts of envelops to the National Printing Press.

All these materials once produced were transported and stocked at the Yaounde 101 Military Airbase for subsequent dispatching to the field. At the level of the Airbase, ELECAM recruited over 800 temporary workers whose assignments were to receive, verify and package the materials for dispatching to the field.

The Chairperson of the Electoral Board of ELECAM, Enow Abrams Egbe accompanied by some board members and Director General of Elections, one August 30, 2018 visited SOPECAM, National Printing Press and Yaounde 101 Military Airbase to inspect work done on the production, packaging and dispatching of the material.

The visit also gave the workers a greater impetus. Besides the ballot papers of the nine candidates and envelops, the other electoral materials included electoral kits, polling booths, waste paper bags, indelible ink, materials for lighting such as kerosene lamps, campaign materials as well as badges for ELECAM staff, observers and media practitioners. Reports say ELECAM also took into consideration the needs of electors with disabilities such as the visually impaired and elderly persons at the level of polling stations.

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