The market place of ideas and debate remain the centre piece of Cameroon’s democratic dispensation. And the ballot box ignites images of the final outcome of political pluralism in a labyrinthine journey of contradictory views.
The umpire in this national conversation where the ballot box reigns supreme in our polity is ELECAM, and for so many years, this institution ensures that elections are free and fair and free from fear. In the last few weeks, the electoral body has been fine tuning strategies to register many potential voters ahead of upcoming elections. In harmony with section 74 (1) of the electoral code, the deadline for this exercise is in the next few days, precisely August 31st. Ahead of this closing date, ELECAM has mobilised multiple teams nationwide reminding all of voting age of their civic responsibility to get their names on the voting register and to collect the voters card necessary for future elections. In the estimation of the electoral officials, the demographic weight of the nation should produce a minimum of seven million registered voters. This target is expected to produce an appropriate electoral college that fortifies political pluralism in our triangle. As the deadline to close the electoral register approaches, the call from ELECAM becomes louder and the strategies more persuasive, to pull many to voter registration offices.
Political parties and numerous civil society organisations are reliable partners in the ongoing crusade to swell the electoral register. As mirror of the nation’s predisposition for peace and stability during the electoral process, political parties are expected to propel members to register in large numbers as all votes in the final analysis count. In any democracy, there are issues and symbols that unite and constitute the basis of nation-hood. As a microcosm of a nation, a political party should reflect values of civic responsibility, of peace and stability. After the chorus of contradictory debate, consensus begins in the electoral process by unanimously encouraging militants of all political shades to get enlisted on the voters register. This act of civic responsibility transcends the mileage of political differences for it provides a level playing field for all actors in the electoral process. It prepares the ground for a free and fair electoral journey that culminates in the sovereignty of the ballot box as the dominant arbiter in our democratic narration. With the caravan of democratic success rumbling across the nation’s vast expanse, our political expression draws deep from the aspirations of a people for peace, stability and national cohesion. Our national narration begins with massive registration on voters registers at the behest of ELECAM, political parties and other civil society organisations ahead of upcoming municipal and legislative consultations. This sets the stage for hitch free voting on a level playing field.
At the tail end of the electoral process, our elected leaders, at local and national level have the mandate of a free people in free and fair elections. «A final test of leaders» Walter Lipman wrote, «is that they leave behind them, on other men, the conviction and the will to carry on». The objectives of the New Deal crusade of President Paul Biya remain the protection of the common good. In this light, nothing is left to chance creating opportunities for all in a level playing field. The future of Cameroon remains pegged on the collective resolve to inject democracy and good governance into the genetic components of our polity. The starting point of the entire process rest with the proven credibility of our electoral umpire. In word and deed, ELECAM has scored sterling results in performance and visibility. The crusade to gather a strong and dense electoral register in harmony with the nation’s demographic statistics clears the field for a transparent verdict at the ballot box. The internal regulatory mechanism in ELECAM ensures transparency, impartiality and respect for universal democratic tenets. As the locomotive of Cameroon’s democratic journey, the electoral body has demonstrated its ability to contribute effectively in building a strong, united, one and indivisible fatherland.