Cameroon: Legislative By-Election - Constitutional Council Rejects Sdf Petitions

The President of the Constitutional Council, Clément Atangana in the ruling on the 12 petitions declared them admissible but dismissed the petitions for being unfounded.

The 12 petitions the Social Democratic Front (SDF) candidates filed at the Constitutional Council calling for the total cancellation of the March 22, 2020 legislative by-election have all been rejected by the Council. The President of the Constitutional Council, Clément Atangana passed the ruling in the hearing on April 2, 2020. He said the petitions were admissible but the facts alleged in them were unfounded. Curiously, the complainants, the SDF substantive candidates in the 11 constituencies where the February 9, 2020 legislative election was cancelled and a rerun ordered were absent from the Constitutional Council. Even the well constituted SDF Counsel whose names were published in the programme for the hearing were all absent. The Councillor Rapporteur of the Constitutional Council, Arrey Florence Rita read out the report in which the SDF substantive candidates in the by-election mainly accused Elections Cameroon (ELECAM), Ministry of Territorial Administration and the competing Cameroon People's Democratic Movement (CPDM) of perpetrating irregularities that marred the smooth conduct of the election. They claimed for example that electors were prevented from voting as ELECAM organised the elections in polling centres instead of polling stations, as well as the worrying security situation. While ruling on the petitions, the President of the Constitutional Council listed all the complainants and their constituencies. The 11 constituencies in which the SDF demanded the total cancellation of the by -election just as they did during the election proper are 10 in the North West Region and one in the South West. The constituencies in the North West Region include : Mezam North with one seat, Bui South with one seat, Bui West with one seat, Bui Centre with two seats, Menchum South with one seat, Mezam Centre with one seat, Mezam South with one seat, Menchum North with one seat, Momo East with two seats and Momo West with one seat. The lone constituency concerned in the South West Region was Lebialem with one seat. What remains now is for the Constitutional Council to proclaim the official results of the legislative by-election. This is in compliance with Section 136 of the Electoral Code which provides that, « The decisions of the Constitutional Council relating to elections, election results and candidatures shall be final. » The official results are expected in the coming days as the Constitutional Council has the maximum of 20 days from the close of the polls to proclaim them.

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