March 29, 2012
MPs Extend Their Mandates by 6 Months
The bill recommending a six-month renewable elongation of the MPs’ terms of office was submitted by the government via Vice Prime Minister and Minister Delegate in charge of Relations with the Assemblies, Amadou Ali. The adopted single-page bill stipulates that the raison d’être is to allow ample time for the biometric recompilation of voter registries announced by the elections management body, ELECAM earlier this year.
“I think it’s realistic considering the important work that ELECAM has to undertake. I think that six months will not even be enough. But it is renewable which means that if ELECAM doesn’t finish its work in six months, there’ll be six more months to complete the job,” Jean Eone, CPDM MP for the Nyong and Kelle explained.
Regardless of their political inclinations, the MPs wasted little time and effort in pushing through the draft law at a plenary session. It followed a similarly hitch-free admission and subsequent scrutiny by the Constitutional Laws Commission. In the meantime, pundits said they foresaw no hitches at all regarding its adoption.
“All the MPs across the board; be they from the opposition or the ruling CPDM will be more than eager prolong their stay at the National Assembly. They don’t only get 8 million FCFA every year for micro-projects which many don’t execute, but use their statuses as lawmakers to peddle influence and grab contracts and so on… If you were the one, would you opt out?” Christian Kuossou, a Douala resident hinted Monday.
The current mandate of the country’s 180 MPs was due expiration next August 21. They were elected [or reelected] in 2007. The adoption of the bill directly implies that the anticipated twin legislative and municipal elections slated for July 2012 in principle, will only hold in February 2013, provided the mandate extension is not renewed.
“The bill enables us to envisage transparency during future elections in Cameroon. Such transparency will based on a widely accepted foundation – the installation of the biometric system and the recompilation of voter registers. The prolongation will allow time for the putting in place of that system and the recompilation of registers,” Serge Noumba, SDF MP for the Mifi told CameroonPostLIne.com.
However, critics note that while prolonging the MPs’ terms of office by six months may be logical, stretching the extension by another six months will be totally uncalled for. According to many, ELECAM board chair, Samuel Fonkam Azu’u has repeatedly given assurances that once equipment to carry out the biometric recompilation is available, nationwide registration of voters will take about ten days. Azu’u told reporters recently in the capital Yaoundé that there were plans to constitute teams of footmen to undertake door-to-door enrolment of voters.
Article source Cameroon Post Online, posted on The Cameroon News under Cameroon Politics News