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Thursday, June 28, 2018

The Debate of Bill to Extend the Mandate of Members held in National Assembly

CIN| In view of the electoral calendar - which shows that the mandates of the President of the Republic, deputies and municipal councilors expire between October 15 and November 3 next -, the text to be examined by the commission of constitutional laws of the lower house provides information on the motives put forward by the executive to justify this extension.

" The holding of these presidential, legislative and municipal elections, with regard to the date of convocation of the electorate (current June-July), will lead to an overlap of the various operations relating to these strictly controlled elections ," said the President of the Republic, Paul Biya, on June 13, in a correspondence addressed to the Senate office.

It is strong this " entanglement " which on the technical and operational level would be on the one hand, likely to " undermine the sincerity of the polls referred to above " but on the other hand, would allow "a more serene material organization of the different elections ", that it is proposed the extension of the mandate of the deputies" for a period of twelve (12) months ".

This, in accordance with article 15, paragraph 4 of the Constitution, which emphasizes that prescribed consultations were conducted and " the reasoned opinion of the President of the Constitutional Council, as well as those of the offices of the National Assembly and Senate were transmitted to the President of the Republic .

According to Mutations of Wednesday, June 27, 2018, the tabling of this text which has not left indifferent the deputies, conveys divergent opinions within the lower house. " we try to extend the mandate of the deputies and then those of the municipal councilors simply because Mr. Biya is unable to win an election without trying to corrupt his own majority, " thinks for example the member of the Social Democratic Front ( SDF), Joshua Osih. He adds: " This is proof once again that democracy is not yet anchored in Cameroon and that we still have a lot of work to do ."

On the side of the Democratic Rally of the Cameroonian People (Rdpc), this extension is attributed to the current socio-political and security context in certain regions of the national triangle. " Cameroon is going through one of its most serious security crises. This crisis does not only involve the North West and the South West, but the East and the Far North ", justifies the deputy of the ruling party, Jean Simon Ongola Omgba.

Beyond the relevance of these reasons, " the decision to consult the national representation comes at a time when Cameroon knows a singular inflection of its historical development ", analyzes for its part the political scientist Max Zacaine Mbida Onambele.

The bill extending the term of office of the elected representatives being introduced, remains now a decree of the President of the Republic, which would also renew for a year (most likely), the mandate of the municipal councilors. That is 12 months from the end of the term of the elected representatives. The parliamentary and municipal elections will be held in September 2019. Mutations recalls that in 2013, the President of the Republic, Paul Biya, had used these same constitutional levers to extend the mandate of the 8th legislature. The legislative and municipal elections were held on September 30, 2013 after two postponements.