Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Biya Announces Senatorial Elections for this Year

President Paul Biya
President Paul Biya has declared that Senatorial Elections will take place this year 2013. He made the declaration in his traditional end of year message to the nation on December 31, 2012. In urging Cameroonians to register massively in the electoral list he said that measured will be taken for Cameroonians to continue to swim in the sea of an advanced democracy. In introducing some of the measures he has personally taken to guarantee that there is massively registration, he said that "  I take this opportunity to urge Cameroonians to register massively on electoral registers. To facilitate this process, I have decided that, as from 1 January 2013, national identity cards should be issued free of charge.
The recent adoption of a single electoral code is also geared towards modernizing our democratic process. It was also necessary to harmonize some provisions relating to the Constitutional Council with the Constitution in order to set up this superior court, after the senatorial elections slated for 2013". A critical judgment analysis of this statement, clearly indicates that the Constitutional Council will certainly go functional this year. He also added that " Government’s focus on reviving growth did not prevent politics from claiming its place. In a bid to modernize our democratic process and enhance the transparency and credibility of our elections, a decision was taken to recompile electoral registers and introduce biometrics in the production of electoral documents. It is absolutely necessary to carry through this operation on schedule". By implication, 2013 is a year of elections in Cameroon. Certainly, municipal and legislative elections as well as Senatorial Elections will take place this year.
On the fight against corruption and embezzlement of public funds, President Biya noted that " I am fully aware that we still have to deal with the inertia, incompetence or malice of some people, which all constitute constraints on our recovery. In addition, there is corruption in various forms and public procurement fraud. In this regard, the latest NACC report is extremely revealing. Obviously, the embezzlement of public funds will not go unpunished. I count very much on the Minister of Public Contracts to put an end to such abuses in his sphere of competence.
The said failings are all the more reprehensible as a substantial segment of our population continues to languish in harsh living conditions. Obviously, the huge sums of money embezzled should have contributed to improving their situation in the domains of education and health. How many schools, health centres, and water supply schemes could have been built with the sums embezzled!
Such criminal behaviour on the part of a minority clearly tarnishes our country’s image. It is used by critics in and outside the country who are unwilling to acknowledge the progress we have achieved in recent years. They claim that we are “stagnant” and our very stability is doubtful. Such lack of objectivity can only be due to some kind of political myopia that prevents them from seeing things as they are, and to failing memory which prevents them from having any recollection of the hardships that our people have suffered to overcome unfair terms of trade, structural adjustment constraints and the damage caused by the recent economic and financial crisis".

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