March 24, 2012
2011 Presidential: Transparency International Contradicts ELECAM
Several months after incumbent Paul Biya emerged winner of the October 2011 presidential poll with a landslide 77.7 percent score; the Cameroon tentacle of the global anti-corruption whistleblower Transparency International has sprinkled general criticism on the election.
According to a report published this mid-March, the international NGO contradicts voter turn-out figures released by the elections management body ELECAM. It equally blasts the state-run broadcaster CRTV for biased coverage, the curious silence by the National Communications Council as well as the arrogation of state affairs for campaign purposes by Biya and his ruling CPDM party.
Transparency International questions the legitimacy of Biya’s victory, considering rambling voter apathy. According to the report, voter participation was around 30 percent and not 65.82 percent as announced by Elections Cameroon [ELECAM] and the Supreme Court acting as the Constitutional Council in November.
Despite noting that the election unfolded amid a generally serene atmosphere, the anti-corruption watchdog highlights a series of other flaws including multiple voting, the reluctance by ELECAM to adequately clean up voter registers as well as the involvement of traditional chiefs in the process.
According to the NGO, Paul Biya and his CPDM party again derailed state funds for campaigns, as well as turned state functions like the laying of the foundation of the Kribi deep sea project into vote canvassing ceremonies. While agreeing with the report, opposition party leaders say five months after the election, the Transparency International report could have gone further.
“The report is essentially based on observations made in the country’s main urban settlements. It appears to me that transparency did not take into consideration wide-ranging fraud that happened in the country’s hinterlands,” Ayah Paul Abine, leader of the Peoples’ Action Party who emerged fourth in the October election noted.
Meantime, indicted entities in the report including ELECAM, the National Media Council and the government-owned CRTV have opted for tight-lips since the publication of the report. Anonymous sources at ELECAM say the organ is currently in talks with the opposition and civil society actors to improve the electoral system, and need not comment on the report.
Article source Cameroon Post Online, posted on The Cameroon News under Cameroon Politics