Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Stalemate in Oku, Batibo, Tubah, Bda I & Kumba II as Councilors Challenge Investitures

 The councilors of Oku are said to have threatened to decamp to the SDF as Central Committee wanted to impose a mayor on them. Accordingly, 27 councilors stormed out of the meeting leaving the Central Committee with no objection than to accept. Allegedly, some CPDM elite(s) cooked up lists in Yaounde and handed them to party representatives. The same scenario took place in Bamenda I, where the Central Committee delegate Ama Tutu Muna crumbled to the dictates of the Mendakwe people.
In SDF, the famous investiture committee was also challenged in Tubah, Kumba and Batibo. In Tubah Council, Tanjong Martin challenged the decision of the investiture to crush Sofa Stanislaus in the elections. Even though Fru Ndi is said to have declared that he will make sure that the decision of the party is respected, Tanjong Martin hereto remains the mayor. In Kumba, another 99% sense took the almighty Asanpgu unaware and gave him a bashing defeat. The SDF is with its back on the wall given that councilors preferred Martin Forcha to Asanpgu. The SDF is seemingly having it very hot with Martins this year. In Batibo, councilor Weriwum was challenged and he lost elections to Tanjuh Feredrick. In Kumbo, Njong Donatus was also challenged but he won while in Noni, former mayor Nfi Omer and one other person challenged Wache Francis but the two contenders got only 8 votes. Wache finally won. In Nkum, even though Suila Aruna was invested, his candidature was challenged but he finally won.

The Making of a Mayor

Candidates who had submitted applications for mayorship are nominated by any councilor, according to legal provisions. This process is some-how a mockery of democracy given that in reality those to be nominated are designated by their political parties. In council areas where the council seats are shared, the general rule is that the candidate from the party with the most seats is certain to win. This is so because sharing seats after the municipal elections, the party is sure to have more than half of the councilors. The case of Santa, Mbengwi and Fundong abound yet only the SDO for Mezam was strict to see that the law is respected. However, it is not excluded that a councilor from a candidate with fewer seats could try his/her luck given that such an election is often characterized by buying of votes. Yet it is not ruled out that a party can endorse two or more candidates for the position of mayor and in such a case, it is money that speaks.
The most interesting thing about who could be elected mayor is that there is no legal provision which states that the head of the council list is the lone candidate for mayor and therefore the future mayor. Under the law, the number of deputy mayors is set according to the size of the population of the municipality given that in some council the number of councilors varies between 25 and 61. The election of the mayor and deputies is done following a list system. In practice, a councilor presents a list he/she leads. If it wins the election, its members shall be declared elected in order, as first, second, third ... until the sixth deputy mayor depending on the size of the council. Generally, it is the dominant party that takes all. This, despite the fact that Article 60 paragraph 1 of the 2004 Act (law) provides that the municipal executive reflects as far as possible, the composition of the council. It is for this reason that the SDO for Mezam declared the position of 4th deputy mayor for the SDF to the chagrins of Achidi Achu, JB Ndeh and Kan Elroy Moses who could swallow it. In many cases, this is usually violated. However this law was never respected in Fundong and Mbengwi which raises another serious litigation.
Electoral Litigations
In case of any electoral litigation, the Electoral Code provides that a councilor declared elected by the Council Supervisory authority remains in office until the intervention of a decision by the Supreme Court. This same principle is applied to council executives who are elected and would have to remain in office until a contrary decision may arise, for example as a result of post election disputes. Implicitly, within 45 days of the close of the polls for municipal elections, in other words, by November 4, 2013, we’ll know if the configuration of municipal councils per the results of September 30, 2013 and the composition of the municipal executive expected on 15 September will be final and effective for the next five years or not. As mentioned above, in a situation where the results of the polls are cancelled or results of some polling stations cancelled and the party in power looses, the mayor and his deputies will remain in office for at least six months before fresh elections are organized. Such a scenario may likely take place in the North West Region in Santa, Nkambe, Bamenda I and or Fundong where electoral litigations are pending the decision of the Supreme Court.

When News Breaks Out, We Break In. Minute by Minute Report on Cameroon and Africa

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