Cameroon: Extraordinary Session of Parliament - Signs of High Political Build-Up

An Order of the National Assembly and another from the Senate has convened Parliamentarians into session as from tomorrow.

The unfolding of events across the country within the last few months has made many to wonder what the days ahead could reserve for the political landscape in Cameroon. After the Major National Dialogue convened by President Paul Biya from 30 September to 4 October 2019, several recommendations were made which left room for uncountable number of speculations. As a follow-up to the dialogue, government has been in constant touch with the population at the grassroots. Through diverse representatives, the objective has been to ensure that the aspirations of the people, especially in the restive North West and South West Regions get careful consideration. It is within this background of the Major National Dialogue that news of the convening of an extraordinary session of Parliament for 13 December, 2019 has left room for even more conjecture. According to Article 16 (3) of the Constitution; "The National Assembly shall meet in extraordinary session for not more than 15 (fifteen) days on a specific agenda and at the request of the President of the Republic or of one-third of its members. The extraordinary session shall wind up as soon as the agenda for which it was convened is exhausted." Since the same disposition holds for the Senate, there is room to opine that the plenary of tomorrow's extraordinary session of both Houses will certainly be a revelation for Cameroonians. Given that the Ordinary session that ended yesterday 11 December, 2019 had important texts like the budget and other bills to examine, it was evident that if the Head of State brought in other important bills, the serenity and profound scrutiny required to provide the country with sound foundations for progress might not have been possible. Without pretending to know beforehand the content of the discussions in the upcoming extraordinary session, it is obvious that MPs and Senators will have much work within the next two week. If they have to make pronouncements on the need to accelerate the ongoing decentralisation process in the country or even deliberate on the much-talked about Special Status, it will call for serious examination to get to the depth of the issues at stake. The inclusive and intertwined nature of the situations that the country has been grappling with like the insecurity in the Far North Region and the crisis in the South West and North West Regions, if brought to parliament will definitely call for decisions that could mean much to the political evolution of the country. While Cameroonians wait to follow the disclosure of the bill which has necessitated the convening of and extraordinary session of Parliament tomorrow, there is no doubt that the outcome will mean much for Cameroon in the days ahead.

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