The Bishop who doubles as the Apostolic Administrator of Bafia highlighted the efficiency of the electoral process, noting that the opening and closing of polling stations complied with the provisions of the decree convening the electorate and that election materials were available and in sufficient quantity in the polling stations.
The Bishops in Cameroon, however, regretted the fact that “Posters and other campaign materials from some parties were still present in some localities on polling day,” adding that bits of violence were also observed.
“Cases of violence were noted in some localities,” they said and added, “In most of the polling stations, representatives of the ruling CPDM party were present, which was not always the case for other competing political parties.”
With these observations, the Bishops in Cameroon have also outlined some recommendations for a better organization of elections in future.
To the officials in charge of the organization of elections, Elections Cameroon (ELECAM) and the Ministry of Territorial Administration, the Bishops urge them to “take into account the shortcomings and cases of fraud observed for the proper conduct of elections without irregularities in the future.”
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“We count on the high sense of responsibility of the Constitutional Council and other bodies that deal with electoral disputes and the proclamation of results to translate and respect the choice of the Cameroonian people as freely expressed in the ballot box.,” they added.
To political parties and candidates, the bishops recommend, “In the event of victory, do not in any way seek to provoke or humiliate your opponents. In case of failure, acknowledge your defeat and congratulate the winner or winners.”
“We exhort all actors to resort to legal channels in case of possible contestation,” the Cameroonian Prelates recommend.
To the people of Cameroon, “We reiterate the fact that defeat must not give rise to acts of violence, looting and vandalism. Knowing that peace in our country is fragile we must create or preserve at our achievements in favor of social cohesion.”
Meanwhile, the bishops expressed concern about the Anglophone crisis in the north-west and south-west regions of the country.
“We regret that four months after the holding of the Major National Dialogue, which proposed solutions for ending the crisis in these regions, we are still not satisfied with the situation in these regions,” they said in their collective statement.
The bishops added, “Insecurity persists in spite of everything and has prevented many citizens living in these areas from exercising their civil rights.”