Saturday, January 25, 2020

Elections 2020: the 'voting arrangements' set up in the Anglophone regions

Additional 700 soldiers deployed to crisis areas..

The concept of "voting centers" will be in force during the legislative and municipal elections next February 9 in the English-speaking regions of Cameroon plagued by secessionist violence, the national radio and television announced on Wednesday. It will involve consolidating several polling stations of a locality in a single secure site, in order to limit possible intrusions by separatist combatants who promised never to allow the holding of said consultations in a territory from which they proclaimed independence.

Faced with growing tension, the government recently deployed more than 700 additional soldiers in these areas which, during the presidential election on October 7, 2019, had some 1.1 million voters out of a national total of 6.6 million. In the meantime, several candidates for deputation or in municipal councils, mainly from the Social Democratic Front (SDF, opposition) and originating from regions under conflict, have withdrawn under threats from the separatists. 

"The governors and the defense and security forces will do their job of securing the electoral process in the 10 regions, in general and more particularly in the North-West and South-West regions. On very high instructions from the Head of State, Head of the Armed Forces, a special and substantial security device will be deployed in the North-West and South-West regions before, during and after the double ballot of February 9, 2020 ", declared a week ago the Minister of Territorial Administration, Paul Atanga Nji.

Speaking for his part Tuesday in the capital of the North West and epicenter of violence, Bamenda, the commander of the 5th joint military region, Valère Nka, reiterated his call to the separatists to lay down their arms.