Sunday, March 8, 2020

Resistance plan: a special adviser to Paul Biya has joined Maurice Kamto

It is LUC SINDJOUN, the special adviser to Paul Biya, who has just answered the call of the national president of the Movement for the Renaissance of Cameroon (MRC), Professor Maurice Kamto.

Associate professor of political science, he granted an interview to our colleagues from ABK Radio in which he joined the leader of the MRC on the various crises which are shaking Cameroon. From the boycott of the last elections to the English-speaking crisis, passing by the imperfection of the electoral code, the man stands out completely from the position of Paul Biya. 

Below is the entirety of his position on the various current affairs in Cameroon 

“About the debates on the legislative and municipal elections: the twilight of the imposture 

1-The debate on the advisability of holding legislative and municipal elections was a false debate. The holding of said elections was in accordance with the Constitution and the Electoral Code. The mandate of the deputies and municipal councilors elected in 2013 had already ended. The extension of mandates, which is an exception, could not become the rule, as some wished, disrespectful of the popular will as expressed in the elections, more inclined towards arrangements outside of democratic procedures. In any event, in addition to the requirements for the end of the mandate, it is the President of the Republic, as guarantor of order, tranquility and public security, who is well placed to assess whether the conditions are met to allow the peaceful conduct of legislative and municipal elections. What he did by deciding to convene the electorate. This decision was fraught with significance: the President of the Republic, insofar as he exercises, in the foreground, the responsibility of protecting the populations, undertakes to do everything possible for the holding of legislative and municipal elections. To this end, it is surprising that people of good or bad faith, not having the same level of information as the President of the Republic on the state of the nation, have chosen to doubt the advisability of the holding of elections, without bringing the slightest beginning of evidence to support their thesis. It is not a question of claiming that a presidential option is insusceptible to all criticism; criticism is welcome, provided it is argued and based on objective facts. However, in this case, what was often at work was the attempt to install the deputies and the municipal councilors in a position of relative democratic fragility, in order to possibly justify the use of anti -democratic. Certainly, some have summoned the exceptional circumstances to request the postponement of the legislative and municipal elections; but it is the President of the Republic who judges the advisability of invoking exceptional circumstances. In the present case, it is on the basis of his knowledge of the situation, that it decided to hold legislative and municipal elections on February 9. And the facts proved him right. 

The use of exceptional circumstances should not be allowed to inhibit democracy. The convocation by the President of the Republic of the electoral body for the double legislative and municipal ballot of February 9 was an act of democratic salvation: a democratic mandate which has ended, cannot be extended indefinitely.

The advisability of holding legislative and municipal elections on February 9 also stems from Cameroon's international commitments. Firstly, it concerns the conformity of the holding of legislative and municipal elections on February 9 with the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance. Indeed, Article 17 of the said charter states that: “The States Parties reaffirm their commitment to regularly hold transparent, free and fair elections…. " Thus, the regular holding of transparent, free and fair elections is considered by the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance as the main characteristic of democratic elections. It is, then, the conformity of the holding of legislative and municipal elections on February 9 with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Indeed, article 25 of the Covenant provides that: “Every citizen has the right and the possibility,…: a) To take part in the management of public affairs, either directly or through freely chosen representatives; b) To vote and to be elected, during periodic, honest elections, by universal and equal suffrage and by secret ballot, ensuring the free expression of the will of the voters; c) To have access, on general terms of equality, to the public service of his country ”. Article 13 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights goes in the same direction. So, 

2- The debate on whether or not to participate in the legislative and municipal elections of February 9 is a surprising and anachronistic debate, especially because it is initiated by a so-called democratic and republican opposition. In a democracy, election is seen as the only possible political game. Consequently, when a political party which aspires to govern, to effect "change in peace", decides to boycott the elections, that is to say the meeting with the sovereign people, it is legitimate to stand to ask questions, to ask oneself by which way, he will find himself in a position to govern. Without prejudice to the freedom of everyone to take part in the elections or not, 

Beyond the fact that numerous studies have shown that boycotting elections is a "bad idea", the problem that arises here is that of the inadequacy of the democratic culture of certain leaders and activists of political parties. . Indeed, democratic culture also refers to specific ways of making and thinking about politics, in particular by presenting candidates for election, by going to vote. There is an insufficient democratic culture when there is a refusal to participate in one of the founding acts of democracy, namely election. It is by participating in elections, as voters, as candidates, by losing or winning them, that democratic culture is acquired, developed and taken root. 

The call to boycott the elections is retrograde compared to the history of democracy. The right to vote and the right to stand as a candidate are conquests and treasures, each election of which constitutes an opportunity for enrichment, defense, promotion and illustration. This is a question that goes beyond Cameroon and concerns all of humanity as a whole, more precisely our "democratic civilization". Each election is a moment of magnification of the people as holders of sovereignty. Whenever a citizen takes part in the vote, he must think of all these blacks of the United States whose right to vote was denied, hindered and diverted until August 6, 1965, all these blacks of South Africa who fought until the supreme sacrifice for the principle of "one man, one voice" to be admitted. Every time, that a citizen can present his candidacy for an election is the triumph of universal suffrage. It is this story that is updated during each election. Democratic conquests must be preserved. It would be interesting to know if there are examples of democratic consolidation through the boycott of the elections. In any case, the history of consolidated democracies shows that the regularity of the participation of political parties in elections is a factor of pacification of political life, of dissemination of democratic culture. It would be interesting to know if there are examples of democratic consolidation through the boycott of the elections. In any case, the history of consolidated democracies shows that the regularity of the participation of political parties in elections is a factor of pacification of political life, of dissemination of democratic culture. It would be interesting to know if there are examples of democratic consolidation through the boycott of the elections. In any case, the history of consolidated democracies shows that the regularity of the participation of political parties in elections is a factor of pacification of political life, of dissemination of democratic culture. 

We have to understand each other well. The right to vote and the right to stand as a candidate are part of civil and political rights, in particular, human rights in general. To call for a boycott of elections is to derogate, without control, from civil and political rights. In the same vein, threatening, intimidating and assaulting candidates in legislative and municipal elections as well as voters, as has been observed in certain localities in the North-West and South-West regions, constitute as many serious attacks on human rights and democracy. Weapons cannot replace ballot boxes in a democracy.

Respect for civil and political rights must be integral and permanent: one cannot choose to support their exercise during the presidential election and opt for their restriction during the legislative and municipal elections. Likewise, one cannot claim to support human rights and promote their alienation from political interests or calculations. The inalienability of human rights is not only binding on States, but also on individuals. 

3- The debate on the argument of the imperfections of the electoral code as the cause of the boycott of the elections, is a debate without object. There is no need to go back to the process of perfecting electoral laws in Cameroon since 1992, on the many advances recorded. There is no need to emphasize that criticism of the electoral code is very often promoted by opponents, until they come to power. For example, it was on the basis of the Senegalese electoral code that he had repeatedly rejected, that Abdoulaye WADE was elected President of the Republic against the outgoing President, Abdou DIOUF, in 2000. In fact, the criticism nuisance of the electoral code is often a diversion strategy or participates ex ante in the ritual of contesting the results. 

As for the double legislative and municipal ballot on February 9, it should be noted that the arguments put forward to justify the boycott of the elections are fallacious. Hold. In the United Kingdom, on a regular basis, the Liberal Party has criticized the majority system and presented it as favoring the Labor and Conservative parties, but has not given up on taking part in the elections. In France, the political parties of the ecological movement are defenders of proportional representation, but, they agree to take part in the elections organized under the empire of a voting system which they criticize. In the United States, Democrats and Republicans clash, even in constituencies which, due to the partisan gerrymandering, are made to promote specific political interests; in the same vein, the highlighting of the democratic limits of the election of the President of the United States by indirect universal suffrage by an electoral college has never been used as an argument to call for a boycott of the American presidential elections . Also in the United States, on January 21, 2010, the Supreme Court rendered a Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, at the end of which the super political action committees in favor of one or more candidates can receive unlimited funds in particular to broadcast negative advertisements against the competitors of their candidate (s). This decision was widely criticized by President Barack OBAMA as creating inequality between the candidates on the basis of the sums collected or donations received, as creating the possibility of financing an electoral campaign by a foreign power. However, the objective observation of the inequity of the electoral system did not prevent President Barack OBAMA from being a candidate for the presidential elections of 2012 and from winning them. 

Criticism of the electoral system does not prevent participation in the elections, as the examples cited above sufficiently demonstrate. Better, it nourishes the participation in the elections, in the perspective of a victory allowing to implement the political program possibly including the revision of the electoral code. Indeed, it is within representative institutions, notably Parliament, that legislative change takes place in a democratic manner. Here is curious the promotion of consensus (against the majority) as a method of revising the electoral law, when it is part of the domain of Parliament's powers. Here as elsewhere, the demand for consensus can be a “fraudulent” maneuver aimed at neutralizing representative institutions. Certainly, the President of the Republic can collect opinions with a view to perfecting the electoral law, as we have seen since 1992; but, the electoral law, like any law, is adopted and promulgated, according to the forms provided for by the Constitution. 

4- The debate on the situation in the North-West and South-West regions, as the cause of the boycott of the legislative and municipal elections, is unfounded. Not only, for reasons of equality before the electoral law, the legislative and municipal elections concerned the whole extent of the national territory, including the regions of North-West and South-West, but, moreover, for considerations linked to the specific situation in the North-West and South-West regions, the legislative and municipal elections were a privileged way out of the conflict by and in the vote of the populations. The holding of legislative and municipal elections in the North-West and South-West regions constitutes both an attestation of the indivisibility of the territory and an opportunity offered to the populations to choose those who can represent them and speak in their own voice. last name. It is difficult to understand that the elections are promoted by the UN as the quintessential way out of the crises and that the holding of legislative and municipal elections in the North West and South West regions, as across the board of national territory, has been criticized without restraint, by some, as if secessionist terror was better than the verdict at the polls. In the same way that the State has defended and promoted the right to education in the North West and South West regions, in the same way in all the other regions throughout the territory, it was important that it do the same for civil and political rights: it is a concrete expression of the commitment to the universality of human rights. man on the national territory. We cannot encourage the development of school activities in the North West and South West regions, on the one hand, and on the other, pretend that legislative and municipal elections cannot take place there.

That it was not easy to organize legislative and municipal elections in the North-West and South-West regions is a fact reinforced by the decision of the Constitutional Council canceling the legislative elections in certain electoral districts of said regions. However, this cancellation does not mark the impossibility of holding the elections there. On the contrary, the decision of the Constitutional Council constitutes a plea for the universality of the electoral code throughout the Cameroonian territory, including in localities subject to actions to contest the authority of the State. Recall must be made that the Constitutional Council validated the conduct of legislative elections in the majority of the electoral districts of the North-West and South-West regions. This is concrete proof of the weakness of the argument consisting in presenting the situation in the North-West and South-West regions as not allowing the elections to be held. This argument has mainly contributed to the intellectual pollution of political life. The same is true of the argument for the normalization of the situation in the North-West and South-West regions as a condition for holding legislative and municipal elections. Not only is the holding of said elections a constitutional and legal requirement with regard to which the constant derogations pave the way for illegitimacy, but, in addition, The United States cited as an established democracy and a benchmark, housed an interesting experience of holding presidential elections during the American Civil War. Otherwise, 

5- The debate which aims to consecrate the primacy of the demonstration over the election, overcomes the fundamentals of democracy and is an attempt at counterfeiting and smuggling. Such a transgression is unacceptable. Admittedly, the demonstration constitutes a mode of democratic expression; but it is not a source of legitimacy: the demonstration is neither a method of selecting leaders, nor a democratic way of gaining power. Only election gives an individual the right to speak and act on behalf of the people, the group that elected them. Attempting, directly or indirectly, to substitute the demonstration for the election, the demonstrators for the voters, participates in the dynamics of unconstitutional change. It is a challenge to democracy. One cannot freely choose the demonstration or the protest against that of the election and pretend thereafter, to be representative: the street is not an urn; slogans are not ballots; the applause of the demonstrators is not a vote. Democracy has its requirements which apply to everyone. 

6- The debate on the participation rate in legislative and municipal elections seems under-informed and ill-informed about the general problem of electoral participation in democracies. To this end, two considerations can be made. 

First, the national participation rate of 45.98% is honorable. We can better appreciate it by taking into account various examples. The participation rate was 32% in the legislative elections of 2012 in Senegal and 22% in the legislative elections of April 28, 2019 in Benin; In the United States of America, the rate of participation in congressional elections from 1974 to 2018 is in the range of which the lower limit is 36.7% and the upper limit is 50%. In these various cases, the legitimacy of the representative institution has never been called into question. 

Second, the national participation rate should not be an obstacle to taking into account the participation rate by electoral district, to have a nuanced judgment, close to the truth: for example, if the electoral district rate is 38.67% in the district of Fako West, it is 68.21% in Mayo Danay, 76.59% in Mayo Sava or even 66.72% in Haut Nyong. The situations are contrasted from one electoral district to another and seem to justify the refusal of a generalization which could prove to be misleading and lazy. Moreover, a democratic election is defined first and foremost as a free, competitive and transparent election. This was the case with the legislative and municipal elections of February 9.

7- The debate over the overwhelming majority of the political party, RDPC, is ignorant of the possibility and the reality of the emergence of a dominant party in an electoral democracy. In fact, what is at work in Cameroon is the dominant party system. This is the case in Cameroon with the CPDM, as in South Africa with the ANC. In these two states, these two political parties hold most of the levers of power at the national and local levels. What matters is that the dominant party is the product of free, transparent and fair elections. This is the conclusion that must be drawn from the decision of the Constitutional Council proclaiming the results of the legislative elections. In the same way as in football championships, there are dominant players (like Ronaldo and Messi) or even dominant clubs (like Barça and Real), in political life, there can be dominant political parties. In political life as in football, the preponderance acquired during competitions can also be lost in the same way. The most important thing in a democracy is that the dominant political parties are subject to the same rules of the game as all the other political parties and that they have established themselves as the best, after electoral competition. 

competitive and transparent in which various political parties take part) and as a representative democracy (in which those who represent the people are elected). It is the merit of President Paul BIYA to have once again allowed us to observe these stubborn facts, built over time, with patience, determination, wisdom and method ”.


Source: camerounweb.com