AN ASSESSMENT OF PRE-ELECTORAL LITIGATIONS IN CAMEROON
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1.1 Background to the study
Electoral justice ‘involves the means and mechanisms for ensuring that each action, procedure and decision related to the electoral process is in line with the law (the constitution, statute law, international instruments and treaties, and all other provisions); and for protecting or restoring the enjoyment of electoral rights, giving people who believe their electoral rights have been violated the ability to make a complaint, get a hearing and receive an adjudication
Electoral law is a law that regulates or governs electoral processes. Electoral processes in Cameroon are governed by law No 2012/001/ of 19th April 2012 relating to the Electoral Code.
The election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual to hold a public office. To elect means to choose or make a decision. There are basically two types of elections in Cameron, namely, political and non-political elections.
The electoral law focuses on the political elections. In Cameroon, the electoral process is made up of three phases viz the pre-electoral operations phase, the elections proper and the post-electoral phase. The emphasis of this work is on pre-electoral operations and Pre-electoral litigation.
Pre electoral operations deal with all preparatory procedures before elections proper. It involves various procedures that ensure that the election proper is carried out accordin8g to the law. Although it is not the election proper, the importance of pre-electoral operations cannot be overstated.
Where the pre/electoral operations are carried out with respect of the law, the smooth running of the entire electoral process is almost guarantee and it also provides sufficient and relevant information about the electors and the candidates. Pre electoral operations include qualification and disqualification of voters, the establishment of electoral registers, voters cards, eligibility and incompatibility of candidates of various elections,
A voter according to the advanced Learners Dictionary is a person who votes or has a legal right to vote especially in an election. With regard to the qualification of a voter, Law No 96/06/ of 18th January 1996 relating to the Cameroon constitution as amended and supplemented by Law No 2008/001 of 14th April 2008 in its section 2(3) provides that the vote is equal and secrete and for every citizen age 18 and above shall be entitled to vote.
According to section 45, of the Electoral Law, every person of Cameroonian nationality of either sex, who has attended the age of 20, is registered on the electoral register and is free from all cases of disqualification provided by law shall be entitled to be an elector.
With regards to section 45 of the electoral code, we notice that of the entire requirement, to be an elector, the most contestable requirement is the voting age in Cameroon which stands at 20. Electors, political parties and even the independent body responsible for the organization, management and supervision of all elections and referendum operations are all involved in this debate.
Electoral register or electoral role is the list from which voters are being registered. According to section 50 of electoral law preparing of electoral activities shall include drawing up and revising electoral register as well as the issuance and distribution of voter’s cards.
Section 51 is to the effect that electoral registers shall be drawn up the branches of election Cameroon in conjunction with the competent join commission. According to section 52(1) in every council, there shall be a commission charged with the revision of electoral register.
Where the area or size of the population of the council so warrant, the director-general of election may set up several electoral register revision commissions. 52 (2) is to the effect that the electoral register revision commission is composed of a chairperson or members.
Section 52(3) is to the effect that the sub divisional Officer, the Mayor and legalized political party shall submit to the council branch of elections Cameroon the names of their representative at least 15 days before the revision.
Section 52(4) is to the effect that in the case of failure of the legalized political party to submit the name of her nominee to the council branch of election Cameroon within the prescribed time provided by law, the head of the council branch of election shall nominate a civil society personality to the commission.
Section 52(5) is to the effect that if the mayor fails to submit the name of his representative to the council branch of election Cameroon the council branch refer the matter to the subdivision officer who shall appoint a council official to the commission section 52 is to the effect that the composition of each electoral register revision commission shall be approved by a decision division of election Cameroon. Section 52  is to the duties of the members of the electoral register commission shall be honorary.
Section 52 is to the effect that a member of the commission can validly carry out the work of the commission provided that the other members are kept informed of such work prior to its completion. section 52  is to the effect that at the of its proceedings the Commission shall draw up a report sign by the chairperson and commissioner’s
Section 53  is to the effect that in every council the shall be one of several commissions in charge of issuance and distribution of voters card. 53  is to the effect that
DEFINITION OF KEY TERMS
The election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual to hold a public office. To elect means to choose or make a decision.
There are basically two types of elections in Cameron, namely, political and non-political elections. The electoral law focuses on the political elections. In Cameroon, the electoral process is made up of three phases viz the pre-electoral operations phase, the elections proper and the post-electoral phase.
1.2 Statement of the problem
One of the most significant innovations as concerns voter registration during elections has been the introduction of the biometric system. In fact, the biometric system has caused more harm than good because of its ineffectiveness.
Even though the biometric system of voter registration has gone a long way to solving some of the issues of paper-based registration, It has been noted on the phenomenon of multiple registrations and the registration of nonexistent people, dead people which sometimes saw communities having more electors than the actual population of that community have greatly reduced.
Nonetheless, a long stride still needs to be made in this domain and with voter registration in general. The researcher seeks to identify Some problems inherent with the voter registration system that often lead to the prolongation of pre-electoral.
Cameroon lacks a centralized biometric database. As such, it is not possible for an ELECAM official in Buea to use the biometric kit and see who has been registered in Kumba. This thus defeats the issue of multiple voting. Thus, a centralized biometric data hub is required in order to eradicate this problem
1.3 Research Questions
1.3.1 Main Research question
What are the procedures governing the management of pre-electoral Litigations in Cameroon?
1.3.2 Specific research question
- What are pre-electoral operations?
- What are the various dispute involve in pre-electoral litigation
- What are the competency of the constitutional council on electoral petitions and the competency of administrative courts on election disputes
- What measures can be put in place to reduce these disputes before elections
1.4 Objectives of the study
1.4.1 Main objective
The main goal of this work is to make an assessment of pre-electoral Litigations in Cameroon
1.4.2 Specific objectives
- To examine critically pre-electoral processes
- To identify the various dispute involve in pre-electoral litigation
- To ascertain the competency of the constitutional council on electoral petitions and the competency of administrative courts on municipal election disputes
- To identify measures to reduce these disputes before elections