Voter Registration – Tepid Start in Yaounde

Yaounde dwellers who failed to register on the electoral lists either because their ages did not permit or were unavailable have started doing so at Elections Cameroon (ELECAM) Council offices across the country. They started registering their names on the voters’ rolls on January 2, 2015 as per Section 74 (1) of the Electoral Code which states that “Electoral registers shall be permanent.

They shall be revised every year throughout the national territory.” “The annual revision of the electoral registers shall commence on 1 January and end on 31 August of every year,” states section 74 (2) of the Code. But given that January 1 was a public holiday, registration started across the country on January 2.

Take-off was timid and a round in some council offices in the Mfoundi Division of the Centre Region revealed a calm atmosphere. At the precincts of ELECAM Council office at Yaounde I at Rue Draggages, Mballa II, yesterday January 5, 2015, there were little signs of life when Cameroon Tribune got there by 10 a.m. The team was told by a security guard at the entrance to the premises that no staff was yet on seat but that registration had begun on January 2, as per the rules.

At ELECAM Mfoundi Divisional Branch office, the Head was confident that tides will turn with time. Florent Leacuteopold Ehongo Bessala explained that feet-dragging has always characterised the exercise at the beginning but that an arsenal of work teams have been mobilised and deployed in all the seven council areas that make up the Mfoundi Division for optimal results when curtains for the exercise drop on August 31, 2015.

Work material including registration kits have been put in place, personnel mobilised and teams comprising ELECAM officials, representatives of the administration, councils and political parties will for the time being work to have more names on the electoral registers. Branch offices will open doors at 8 a.m and close at 5 p.m on working days and at 8 a.m to midday on Saturdays as per the circular of the Director General of Elections, Mohaman Sani Tanimou, on practical modalities with regard to the registration exercise.

The Delegate for ELECAM Centre, Brigitte Amougou Ntsama revealed that there was yet to be a rush for the registration exercise but confirmed the fact that Cameroonians were responding to the call, though timidly. 2015 not being an electoral year might explain the snail-pace at which Cameroonians are responding to the registration call but Brigitte Amougou Ntsama said they were not relenting.

“They might be taking time out of the festive season but will certainly have their names on the voters lists for those desiring,” she said. As of Friday January 2, 2015, the Centre Region was counting 14 new names on the electoral register, the ELECAM scribe revealed. The call is for those who have clocked 20 and above and those who have moved houses to different sub-divisions, divisions and regions to rush to any ELECAM council offices and have their names registered on voters lists.

Source : Cameroon Tribune

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