Below is the government's statement given in a press briefing by the Minister of Communication, René Emmanuel Sadi in Yaounde on September 21, 2020.
« Ladies and Gentlemen,
A political party, namely the CRM, its leader and its cronies, have once again singled themselves out as usual, in an ingrained and systematic logic of provocation, defiance of state authority and confrontation of public authorities, through the untimely announcement of an allegedly peaceful march slated for tomorrow, September 22, 2020.
More specifically, they are calling for a boycott of the forthcoming regional elections, but also and above all for popular uprising and the overthrow of republican institutions, based on what they consider to be nonexistent preconditions for holding credible elections, namely, reform of the electoral code and the end of insecurity in the North-West and South-West Regions.
It should be recalled that this political party had already in the same way, disturbed public order, in the aftermath of the presidential election of October 2018, by invoking an imaginary and fallacious electoral holdup, just to soften the brutal shock of a yet foreseeable poor performance, or the painful effects of individual and collective illusions skilfully and extensively maintained and thus distract national and international opinion.
Moreover, the Government considers that a political party, the CRM in this case, which has voluntarily put itself outside the political game by abstaining from participating in two elections, and which, moreover, cannot claim any representation within the republican institutions, cannot grant itself the right or the legitimacy vested in the President of the Republic, His Excellency Paul Biya, alone, to determine the national political agenda.
It is worth noting with satisfaction that a number of political parties with a say in the matter have rightly decided to participate in the announced ballot or, at least, to welcome its convocation by the Head of State.
ln the same vein, it should be noted that many previous elections were organized on the basis of the electoral code in force, the context being similar in the North-West and South-West Regions, as well as the Far North of the country. These elections have allowed several political parties to join our various representative bodies.
The Government therefore considers that the absence of a political party from an election can, under no circumstances, be an obstacle to the organization of the ballot or a reason to invalidate its results.
All in all, I want to say here that, for the Government of the Republic, the announced unauthorized march of September 22, 2020 is actually just another attempt to defy public authorities, to undermine public order, and the desperate expression of a will to exist or to survive, of a sinking political party, victim of both its contradictions and its misguidance.
In this regard, it is worth reminding all political parties that power is conferred through universal suffrage, and therefore through the ballot box and not in the street.
That is why the Government, through my voice, strongly deplores and unreservedly condemns these recurrent provocative and destabilizing maneouvres including the illegal march slated for tomorrow, by politicians who have worked tirelessly to develop a culture of hatred and permanent conflict, to jeopardize order and peace, by persisting in absurd demands and unjustified and counterproductive intransigence; ignoring the current challenges facing our fellow citizens, be it the coronavirus pandemic, the continuing Boko Haram threat or the forthcoming back-to-school.
The Government also avails itself of this occasion to remind, even those who have taught it or who are supposed to know it, the role assigned to the political parties by the Constitution, a role that is not an option but an obligation: one that is constructive and which does not promote sowing discord or dogma, but to contribute to the expression of suffrage, while respecting the principles of democracy, sovereignty and national unity.
It is therefore incomprehensible that a political party, all the same young and in the development phase, and which, moreover, is not qualified for the process by its own fact, intends to categorically oppose the organization of a national poll, in this case the election of Regional Councillors.
Needless to say, this is a crucial ballot in furthering the implementation of decentralization, which, as we all know, is and remains a constitutional requirement.
Moreover, we are all aware that this is a landmark in the democratic progress of Cameroon, which is a response to a profound aspiration of the Cameroonian people, and which will finalize the establishment of the institutional apparatus of the Nation.
The considerations 1 have just mentioned could therefore leave the President of the Republic no choice but to organize regional elections now.
ln so doing, the President of the Republic, using his Very High Prerogatives, is better placed than anyone else to assess the timeliness and conditions for the organization of the elections in question, in order to guarantee the smooth running of the elections, all the more so as these elections are less demanding in terms of organization.
ln any case, the Government of the Republic once again appeals to the maturity, the sense of responsibility and civic-mindedness of the Cameroonian people who, for the vast majority, we must proudly say, have never allowed themselves to be misguided by unscrupulous politicians who are more concerned and blinded by their outrageous selfish ambitions than by the stakes and interests of the people and the Nation as a whole.
The Government, through my voice, exhorts Cameroonian men and women at home and abroad not to heed the thoughtless and senseless calls for uprising, and to thwart, as usual, destabilization manoeuvre wherever they come from and to go about their daily activities in all serenity.
The Government of the Republic, finally, reaffirms that the Cameroonian people is peace-loving, that Cameroon is a Rule of law, where freedoms and public demonstrations are governed by specific legislations, and that every effort is made to ensure that the law shall always prevail.
Thank you for your kind attention ».
The Minister of Communication,
(s) René Emmanuel Sadi.