It is the content of a draft tabled yesterday Tuesday June 26, during a plenary session at the Hemi-cycle in Yaoundé.
In respect of the January 16, 1996 Constitution of Cameroon wherein Section 15(4) amended that of June 2, 1972, which allows “in case of serious crisis or where circumstances so warrant, the President of the Republic may, after consultation with the President of the Constitutional Council and the Bureaux of the National Assembly and the Senate, request the National Assembly to decide by a law, to extend or abridge its term of office.” Bill No 1032, dropped yesterday, gives credit to a document from the Head of State Paul Biya to the three institutions which circulated on the social media. There in, the President of the Republic sought their opinion in accordance with the law and the explanatory note from government accompanying the bill confirms, “the consultations provided for have been held and the reasoned opinions of the President of the Constitutional Council and of the National Assembly and Senate Bureaux forwarded to the President of the Republic.”In the two-article bill, the extension of the term of office, starts from October 29, 2018, and the explanatory note blames the decision on the overlapping of the Presidential, Legislative and Municipal elections dates, if the Electoral Code is to be respected strictly. The terms of office of the President of the Republic, Members of the National Assembly and Municipal Councilors was to end between 15 October and 3 November 2018.
The President of the Republic in respect of the law has to convene the electorate for the three elections between June and July 2018. Presidential Elections were held on October 9, 2011 and proclaimed on October 21 and the President-elect Paul Biya was sworn in on November 3, 2011 for a mandate of seven-years. Meanwhile, the Members of Parliament were voted September 30, 2013 and began their five-year term of office with the Session of Right on October 29, 2013.As for the presidential election, the Electoral Code of 2012 says, “voting shall take place no less than 20 (twenty) days and no more than 50 (fifty) days before the expiry of the term of office of the incumbent President of the Republic,” in Section 116 (3). And, election of the Members of Parliament, “shall be held not later than 40 (forty) days to the expiry of the term of office of Members of Parliament,” according to Section 148(3). The election of Municipal Councilors whose term of office began on the second Tuesday (October 29, 2013) after proclamation of results on October 21, 2013, “shall take place 20 (twenty) days before the expiry of the term of office of municipal councilors,” Section 169 (3) reads. Government says, “the purpose of this measure (extension of mandate) is to avoid muddling up the electoral operations which, in technical and operations terms, could affect the fairness of the abovementioned elections, and to ensure a more serene organization of the various elections.”