Cameroon--2011 Global FDA Electoral Fairness Audit Report

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2011 FDA Electoral Fairness Audit of Cameroon's republic presidential electoral system

FDA auditors gave Cameroon an overall electoral score of 2.5%. (50% is the minimum passing grade.)

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Cameroon--2011 Global FDA Electoral Fairness Audit Report

  1. 1. 2011 FDA Electoral Fairness Audit ofCameroon’s Republic Presidential Electoral System Executive Summary: Cameroon received an overall failing score of 2.5 percent for electoral fairness. A passing score is 50 percent. The score of 2.5 percent means that the constitutional and legislative basis for Cameroonian democracy is almost completely unfair. Although there are elements of fairness such as special air time for political parties, these elements are canceled out by overall electoral unfairness. The Cameroon government and state has a tight grip on political society, and they have engineered the electoral and media laws so that they favor significantly state candidates and parties. With restrictions on political content and assembly, and unfair electoral finance laws, the Cameroonian political opposition has no reasonable hope of forming government. Electoral Fairness Audit Completed August 17, 2011
  2. 2. About the Foundation for Democratic Advancement:The Foundation for Democratic Advancement ("FDA")s mission is to advance fair andtransparent democratic processes wherever elections occur. The FDA believes that fairerelectoral systems and a more informed public will help ensure the election of candidates whotruly represent the will of the people. The FDA fulfills its mission by performing detailedelectoral audits on political candidates and parties to inform the public, objectively andimpartially, about their electoral choices. Also, the FDA audits electoral legislation in terms offairness and equity, and conducts ground level assessments of democratic processes. (For moreinformation on the FDA visit: www.democracychange.com)Purpose of Electoral Fairness Audit:The purpose of the FDA’s electoral fairness audit (the “Audit”) is to determine a grade andranking for electoral fairness in Cameroon at the presidential and assembly levels of government.(This Audit is part of the FDA’s global audit of electoral fairness involving all countries whichhold political elections.)This non-partisan, independent determination aims to give the citizens of Cameroon an informed,objective perspective of the fairness of the Cameroonian republic presidential electoral system.The views in this electoral fairness audit are the views of the FDA only.The FDA’s members and volunteers are in no way affiliated with the Comeroon ElectoralCommission or any of the Cameroonian registered/non-registered political parties.The Audit is an independent assessment based on objectivity, transparency and non-partisanship.The FDA assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors in the calculation of its audit resultsor inaccuracies in its research of relevant Cameroonian legislation.Methodology of the Electoral Fairness Audit:The FDA focuses on four key areas of electoral fairness:1) Laws and regulations on the political content of media including newspapers, broadcasters andonline media before, during, and after elections;2) Laws and regulations on the equality of candidates’ and parties’ influence before, during andafter elections, such as national televised debates, restrictions on candidate nominations, partyregistration requirements, etc.;3) Laws and regulations on electoral finance, such as party and campaign donation limits, thirdparty spending limits etc.; and4) Laws and regulations on the equality of voter say before, during, and after an election. TheFDA auditors looked at how Cameroonian laws and regulations promote equality of voter say inthe media, at the polling booth, through electoral finance and constitutional laws etc.Foundation for Democratic Advancement
  3. 3. The FDA decided to audit these four areas of electoral fairness because, in our opinion, they areoften ignored or overlooked by the international community in determining electoral fairness.Moreover, these four areas cover broad aspects of the electoral process in which fairness couldbe compromised significantly.The FDA acknowledges that electoral laws and regulations may not necessarily correspond to theimplementation of those laws and regulations or the public’s response to them. Theimplementation and response could be positive or negative, in terms of electoral fairness.Nevertheless, laws and regulations provide the foundation for democracy, framework for theelectoral system, and an indication of electoral fairness. Also, a countrys constitutional andelectoral laws are part of the reality of its democracy.A further study which tracks the actions of mainstream media and the enforcement or non-enforcement of electoral laws and regulation, for example, would provide a more reliable overalldetermination of electoral fairness.The FDA researched current Cameroonian legislation, in relation to four areas of electoralfairness being examined. Following which, the FDA audited the research results via the FDAelectoral audit team and established FDA scoring scales for the four areas of electoral fairnessbeing audited.Weighting and Scoring:Overall, the FDA scoring is guided by an inherent valuation of the concepts of soundness andrelevancy.Each area of electoral fairness has a score range between 0 and 10, and each area is countedequally. The FDA auditors allow for overlap of electoral fairness areas, due to theinterconnectedness of the areas. For example, electoral finance will be factored into the score forvoter say and candidate and party influence if it is relevant to these areas.The total averaged score will provide an indication of the electoral fairness in Cameroon.The FDA electoral audit team deliberated on the research on each area of electoral fairness, andthen attempted to reach consensus on the final score. Where no consensus could be reached, theindividual scores of the team were averaged.The final score for each area must be supported by more sound reasons and correspond to theestablished FDA scoring scale.FDA Researchers:Mr. Stephen Garvey, FDA founder and executive director, bachelor degree in Political Science(University of British Columbia) and Masters degree in Environment and Development(University of Cambridge).Foundation for Democratic Advancement
  4. 4. Mr. Vincent Lemieux, FDA researcher, surveyor, and resident of Quebec.FDA Electoral Fairness Audit Team:Chief Electoral Auditor:Mr. Stephen Garvey, FDA founder and executive director, bachelor degree in Political Science(University of British Columbia) and Masters degree in Environment and Development(University of Cambridge).Electoral Auditors:Mr. Torben Attrup, FDA researcher and auditor, bachelor degree in History (University ofLondon), and United Kingdom citizen.Mrs. Linda Dassin, FDA researcher, Law degree (Université Paul Cézanne), lawyer, andLebanese citizen.Mr. Benjamin Felix, lawyer, human rights and immigration specialist, FDA volunteer, Congolesecitizen, and bachelor in Laws (University of Ottawa), bachelor in Civil Law (University ofGeneva), masters in Law (University of Geneva)Mrs. Tina Frimpong, FDA researcher, legal assistant, and 2nd year university student (Universityof Calgary).Mr. Vincent Lemieux, FDA researcher, surveyor, and resident of Quebec.Mr. Aurangzeb Qureshi, FDA Director of Marketing, bachelor degree in Political Science(University of Alberta), and bachelor degree in Journalism (University of Kings College).Report Writer:Mr. Stephen Garvey, FDA founder and executive director, bachelor degree in Political Science(University of British Columbia) and Masters degree in Environment and Development(University of Cambridge).Foundation for Democratic Advancement
  5. 5. Information Sources:The following information was consulted and utilized in this audit report:Cout Candidathttp://pajec.mini-site.org/spip.php?article9Don aux partie politiquehttp://etudesafricaines.revues.org/5?&id=5ELECAMhttp://www.cameroon-info.net/stories/0,28205,@,elecam-l-onu-exige-le-changement-du-conseil-electoral.htmlhttp://ccdhr.org/cameroon-laws/Law%20on%20the%20Creation%20of%20Elections%20Cameroon%20(ELECAM).pdfhttp://ddata.over-blog.com/xxxyyy/1/35/48/78/Cameroun/Cameroun-Loi-elecam.pdfElectoral lawshttp://www.thecommonwealth.org/shared_asp_files/uploadedfiles/C566DF60-FE3D-4E15-A562-195D5E2C952F_PaperbyHenryEyebeAyissi.pdfElectoral system“Cameroons Electoral System: Current Organization, New Challenges, and Prospects”, Mr.Henri Ayissi, Inspector General for Election Matters Ministry of Territorial Administration andDecentralization—Cameroon, New Dehli, February 24, 2005.Financehttp://www.cameroon-info.net/stories/0,16445,@,ombres-et-lumieres-sur-l-argent-des-partis.htmlGini Index for Cameroonhttp://www.indexmundi.com/cameroon/distribution_of_family_income_gini_index.htmlInternet (twitter)http://news.cameroon-today.com/cameroon-governments-ban-placed-on-twitter-is-estimated-to-put-a-serious-control-on-innovative-efforts/4904/Kal walla (beaten)http://globalcitizenblog.com/?p=3213Legislation laws and the constitutionhttp://www.lexadin.nl/wlg/legis/nofr/oeur/lxwecmr.htmMediaaceproject.org/ace-en/.../media...elections/mecFoundation for Democratic Advancement
  6. 6. Mediahttp://public.unionky.edu/fulbright/files/2009/07/cameroonmedia_lecture.pdfMediahttp://www.unhcr.org/refworld/country,,CPJ,ANNUALREPORT,CMR,456d621e2,47c566cdc,0.htmlNEO organizationshttp://www.camerpages.net/en/detail/neo--national-elections-observatory-of-cameroon-151.htmlPolitical parties“Cameroon: Why So Many Political Parties (207)?”, Dibussi Tande, June, 2007.UN data on Cameroonhttp://data.un.org/CountryProfile.aspx?crname=CameroonWikipedia on Cameroonhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cameroon© 2011, Foundation for Democratic AdvancementAll rights reserved.Foundation for Democratic Advancement728 Northmount Drive NWPO Box 94Calgary, AlbertaCanada, T2K 1P0info@democracychange.comFoundation for Democratic Advancement
  7. 7. Table of Contents:Political Background on Cameroon 9Chapter 1: Political Content of Media 11Executive Summary 11Research Excerpts 11Score 15Rational 15Chapter 2: Candidate and Party Influence 17Executive Summary 17Research Excerpts 17Score 18Rational 18Chapter 3: Electoral Finance 19Executive Summary 19Research Excerpts 19Score 20Rational 20Chapter 4: Voter Say 21Executive Summary 21Research Excerpts 21Score 23Rational 23Chapter 5: Overall Audit Results 24
  8. 8. Chapter 6: Analysis 25Chapter 7: Conclusion 26Chapter 8: Recommendations 27Appendix: FDA Global Audit Results 28
  9. 9. Political Background on CameroonOverall, the Cameroon electoral system is a raw power system based on democratic rules andlaws (based on French civil law with common law influences) but with inconsistent applicationand corruption prevalent everywhere in society. Cameroon is a country which is comprised bythe language, religion, regions and their culture. Although power lies firmly in the hands of theauthoritarian president since 1982, Paul Biya, and his Cameroon Peoples Democratic Movementparty, the government recognizes the authority of traditional chiefs, fons, and lamibe to govern atthe local level and to resolve disputes as long as such rulings do not conflict with national law.Source: Foundation for Democratic AdvancementAccording to the political system of Cameroon, the government is a republic multipartypresidential regime which is structured on the French model. Under this model, power isdistributed among the President who is the Head of State, the Prime Minister, the head ofgovernment and the Cabinet ministers. Under the political system of Cameroon, the Republic isdivided into ten regions which are Amamaoua, Northwest region, East region, Far north region,Littoral, South region, Center region, Southwest region, North region, and West region. All ofthese administrative regions are supervised by a Governor, who co-ordinates Divisional officers,and subdivision officers.A meeting by the National Assembly is held on a regular basis at the National capital in Yaounde,where major decisions are taken.The ExecutiveThe executive power in Cameroon lies with the President, the chief of state who is elected bypopular vote for a term of seven years and is eligible for re-elections for a second term. TheGovernment is headed by the Prime Minister who is appointed by the President. Under theexecutive branch the Cabinet consists of a council of ministers appointed by the President on therecommendations of the Prime Minister.The current President of Cameroon is Paul Biya and the Prime minister is Philemon Yang whilethe Deputy Prime Minister is Amadou Ali. The next presidential elections will be held by theyear 2011.The LegislativeUnder the legislative branch is the Unicameral National Assembly comprising of 180 seats wheremembers are elected by popular vote for a five-year term. It is to be notes that the President hasthe authority to lengthen or shorten the tern of the legislature.The last National Assembly elections were held on 23 June, 2002 and the next is due on June2008. Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page |9
  10. 10. JudiciaryThe judicial system in Cameroon is based on the on French civil law system and consists of theSupreme Court and High Court. Judges of the Supreme Court are appointed by the Presidentwhile the High Court judges are appointed by the National Assembly. The High Court consists of9 judges and 6 substitute judges.It is to be noted that the judiciary in Cameroon is subordinate to the Ministry of Justice of theExecutive branch. The constitutionality of a law can be reviewed by the Supreme Court only onthe request of the President.Source: 123independence Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 10
  11. 11. Chapter One: Political Content of MediaChapter one will focus on the research and audit results of Cameroonian laws and regulationswith respect to the political content of media, including newspapers, broadcasters and on-linemedia, before, during and after elections.Executive Summary: Cameroon received a 0 percent score for the equality and fairness ofCameroon medias political content. The score means that based on Cameroons medialegislation, the political content of media and broadcasters is completely unfair. Cameroon hasno freedom of information available to the public, and the state controls Cameroonian media andbroadcasters. Political content must conform to the principles of public policy. Also, there areexpensive licensing fees for TV and radio networks. Further, there is no mention of fairness,equality, plurality, or balanced, broad electoral coverage in Cameroonian media laws. Privatebroadcasters are required legally to disseminate news items on political speeches and officialceremonies.Research Excerpts:The following excerpts were identified by the FDA researchers as relevant. The FDA researchersmade some excerpts bold to emphasize high relevance:TRANSPARENCY IN TERMS OF ORGANISING ANDFINANCING ELECTIONS IN CAMEROON:INSTITUTIONAL MECHANISM, EVALUATION AND PROSPECTSD) ACCESS TO PUBLIC MEDIA AND TO THE ELECTORATES1- According to the provisions of Law No. 92/030 of 13 February 1992 bearing conditions ofaccess by political parties to public audiovisual media:- “the public audiovisual media is expected to ensure that their programmes reflect ahonest, balanced and complete pluralistic expression of the various political thoughts andopinions” (Article 3);2- during elections, any enrolled political party has a right to regular airtime in the publicaudiovisual media in order to spread its propaganda”; the airtime shared amongst runningmates as part of campaign programmes is fixed by an order of the Minister ofCommunication, once the electoral college is convened.3- Access to the electorate by candidates is guaranteed by all means, with respect to theexisting rules and regulations:- advertising: advert can be published as the case may be, in newspapers orbroadcasted on special airtime created in the public or private radio;- public political rallies or meetings: according to the provisions of Law No. 90/055 of 19December 1990 on public meetings and manifestations, the Cameroonian lawmaker optedfor the declaration system in this domain, as opposed to the prior authorisation system, whichobtained since the previous Law of 1967, organisers of campaign meetings or rallies musttender a declaration to the territorially competent Sub-Divisional Officer at least three (3) days Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 11
  12. 12. before the projected event.Media analysis:Media regulation is not independent from the state.There is provision for community and alternative media.State-owned media outlets are perceived to lack independence and to support thegovernment.Journalists are required to register in order to get a press card to cover state events, butdo not have to be part of a professional body, or be licensed.Pay for non-state journalists is low, prompting private journalists to seek payments fromthe people and organisations on which they reportUS State Department on CameroonSince the issuance of the decree authorizing the creation of private radio and television onApril 3, 2000, only two stations have received a license from the government. Licensing feesare more than $100,000 for radio stations and $200,000 for television stations, which manyin the press consider exorbitant. On April 9, 2008, the Minister of Communication gave twotelevision stations and one radio station until July 2008 to pay the remainder of theirlicense fee or be shut down. Previously, most media houses applied for their licenses andoperated under what the government called “administrative tolerance” while theirapplications were pending and they raised the necessary funds for licensing fees. However,in January 2010, the Minister of Communication indicated that the government was ending“administrative tolerance” and would crack down on stations operating without a fully-paid license.There are a dozen community radio stations created and supported by the UN Educational,Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and local councils, which are exemptedfrom licenses and have no political content. Radio coverage extends to about 80% of thecountry, while television covers 60% of the territory.MASS MEDIA IN CAMEROON. PREPARED BY THENICO HALLE & Co. LAW FIRMB.P.: Despite the fact that the 1990 laws made mass media liberal in Cameroon, the question onemay be tempted to ask is how liberal are these mass media organs in Cameroon. Of course it istrue that media organs are liberal in Cameroon but only to a certain degree. For example, pressorgans are obliged to submit copies of their papers to the various authorities in charge of thejurisdictions in which they find themselves some hours before distribution for scrutiny. This is ina bid to censor the type of information that goes to the public. Their aim is to ensure that theinformation that goes out to the public favours the regime in power. This act is known as presscensorship. In spite of the 1990 laws that gave press freedom, there is some degree of presscensorship. Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 12
  13. 13. Also in the field of bill posting, it is still State-owned. Posting of all bills especiallyadvertisements on strategic points around the country determined by the State are still controlledand managed by the government. Private individuals do not yet own and control bill posts in thecountry. As a result, all advertisements and postings must pass through the State and most often itis pretty expensive since it is still monopolised by them.3. Media Health3.1 Status of the laws regarding rights and access to informationArticle 1 of the general provisions of Cameroon’s 1990 Freedom of Social Communication lawand the 1996 revised constitution, both guarantee freedom of the press. Article 2(1) of the1990 law stipulates that freedom of communication applies to all forms of communication.However, at present there is no specific law mandating access to information (Republic ofCameroon, 1990b; 1996b).3.2 Status of the laws regarding criminal defamation and insultThere are no criminal libel or insult laws in Cameroon. The Freedom of Social Communicationlaw outlines civil remedies for cases of defamation by the press, stating in Section 1, Article52, that “the Publisher of a Press Organ is obliged to publish, in the next issue of his journal,every rectification addressed to him by a depositary of public authority in relation to his dutieswhich were wrongly reported” (Republic of Cameroon, 1990b). Article 53 of the same lawoutlines newspapers’ obligations to provide a right of reply. Article 57 outlines broadcasterobligations to provide a right of reply (Republic of Cameroon, 1990b).3.3 Status of the laws that exist to enable media regulatory bodies tofunction independentlyA number of provisions exist in Cameroon in relation to media regulation, but there is noprovision for an independent media regulator. The main regulatory bodies are the CameroonMedia Council (CMC) and the National Communications Council (NCC). While the former isanswerable to the Minister of Communication, the latter answers to the Prime Minister.3.4 Current provisions that aim to secure the independence ofpublicly-owned mediaThere are no current provisions that aim to secure the independence of state-owned media5.The general tendency is that the state media is pro-government.Key findingsFreedom of the press is protected by a 1990 law and the 1996 revised constitution, butthere is no specific access to information law.There are no criminal libel or insult laws.3.5 Current provisions to support community or alternative mediaThe 2000 Decree on Private Audio-Visual Communication Enterprises (private media)authorised the creation of both community and alternative media (Republic of Cameroon,2000a). A 2002 Ministerial Order further supported development of a community sector byproviding for public assistance to private communication (Republic of Cameroon, 2002b). Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 13
  14. 14. These two legal texts are a sign that the government encourages and acknowledges theexistence of both community and alternative media in Cameroon. It should be noted that theassistance given by the Ministry of Communication to private media houses has not beenaccompanied by attempts to exert government control.3.6 Regulatory obligations for public or state broadcasters to fulfill apublic-service broadcasting remitState broadcasting outlets in Cameroon are not subject to public-service broadcasting (PSB)obligations. The editorial line for state radio and TV broadcasters is set by the state-ownedCameroon Radio and Television Corporation (CRTV). While there is some difference ofopinion among media observers, the general feeling is that the state radio and TV outlets sidewith the political grouping in power6.3.7 Regulatory obligations for private broadcasters to fulfil a public-servicebroadcasting remitOne public-service obligation imposed on private broadcasters is the requirement, in terms ofthe 2000 Decree (Republic of Cameroon, 2000a), that 51% of daily radio air-time should bereserved for local production, while for television the quota is 30%. There has been no studyto find out if these quotas are respected by the private media.3.8 JournalismAccording to the Cameroon Union of Journalists (UJC), there are 874 practising journalists inthe country: 183 women and 691 men (UJC, 2005). This means that 21% of the country’sjournalists are female, and 79% male. Practising journalists are expected to register with thegovernment, and a 2002 Decree established a press card system for registered journalists(Republic of Cameroon, 2002c). Only journalists who own a press card are allowed access tocover public events related to the state. For a journalist to obtain a press card, he or she mustprove that he or she belongs to a legal media house or a media organisation. There is,however, no legislative provision for the licensing of journalists. Neither are there anyprovisions for journalists to belong to a professional association. For this reason, there is nodata on the number of journalists who are registered with trade unions. A number ofprofessional journalists’ associations exist, but there is no single forum that brings togetherall associations.State media employees are categorised as ‘A2 state workers’, getting an average monthlysalary of F.CFA 165,500 (US$300) (Republic of Cameroon, 2000b)7. An average monthly salaryfor a teacher is also US$300. It is difficult to estimate the wages of independent journalists inCameroon. Private media employers generally pay low salaries. Thus, there is a tendency fornon-state journalists to expect payments from individuals or organisations covered in theirreporting.There is one vocational journalism school, the Advanced School of Mass Communication,based in Yaoundé. There are also three university departments offering journalismprogrammes, two of which are private institutions (Siantou Superieure and Institut NdiSamba), and the third a public institution (Department of Journalism and Mass Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 14
  15. 15. Communication, University of Buea). There are also NGOs that provide journalism training,such as UNESCO, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), and the British Council in collaboration withthe Thompson Foundation.Electoral Fairness Audit Results for Media and Broadcasters:Score:The FDA electoral fairness audit team reached consensus on a score of 0/10Rational for Score:The state can deny public access to information.The state controls the media and broadcasters. Political content cannot “conflict with theprinciples of public policy.”The state imposes very high licensing fees for TV and radio networks. ($100,000 USD for radionetworks and $200,000 USD for TV networks.)There is no mention of fairness, equality, balanced electoral coverage or equivalent inCameroons media laws.Private media and broadcasters can operate in Cameroon; however, the state controls strictlytheir political content.Private broadcasters must disseminate news items of political speeches, official ceremonies etc.Private media must observe: 51 percent of daily radio air-time for local production, while fortelevision the quota is 30 percent.State broadcasting outlets in Cameroon are not subject to public-service broadcasting (PSB)obligations. The editorial line for state radio and TV broadcasters is set by the state-ownedCameroon Radio and Television Corporation (CRTV).“There are a dozen community radio stations created and supported by the UN Educational,Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and local councils, which are exempted fromlicenses and have no political content. Radio coverage extends to about 80 percent of thecountry, while television covers 60 percent of the territory.” (US State Department)The state censors, threatens, harasses, and attacks media persons who act contrary to the goals ofthe Cameroonian state.The state has blocked public access to Twitter after the uprising in the Middle East. Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 15
  16. 16. The score of 0 percent means that the medias political content is completely unfair. Althoughthere is an element of press freedom in Cameroon, that freedom is completely offset by thestates control of media. Journalists and media networks who act contrary to the principles andgoals of the state, face censorship, threats, and attacks. State force and intimidation againstprivate media coupled with unfair media laws and a partisan state TV and radio eliminate anyelements of fairness. Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 16
  17. 17. Chapter Two: Candidates’ and Parties’ InfluenceChapter two will focus on the research and audit results of Cameroonian laws and regulationswith respect to the equality of candidates and parties’ influence before, during and afterelections.Executive Summary: Cameroon received a failing score of 0 percent for candidate and partyinfluence. The score means that the constitutional and legislative basis for candidate and partyinfluence is completely unfair. The political content of media and broadcasters favorssignificantly state candidates and parties. Although the state allows special air times for parties,these air times are irrelevant due to the restrictions and censorship on political content. Also, thestate controls political advertisements, and impose very expensive candidate and partyregistration fees. Further, the 5 percent level for return of registration fees and other electoralfinance laws favors significantly state candidates and parties.Research Excerpts:The following excerpts were identified by the FDA researchers as relevant. The FDA researchersmade some excerpts bold to emphasize high relevance:The equality of candidates does not exist at all before, during and after an election. According tothe constitution the freedom of expression, the freedom of the press, the freedom of assembly,the freedom of association, and the freedom of trade-unions are guaranteed under the conditionsfixed by the law.President Paul Biyas Cameroon Peoples Democratic Movement (CPDM) was the only legalpolitical party until December 1990. Since 1990, there were 4 elections with several politicalparties and the government suppressed the freedoms of opposition groups by preventingdemonstrations, disrupting meetings, and arresting opposition leaders.For example, Jean Jacques Ekindi has been beaten when he was attending for a radio interviewand Kah Walla (who is running for the 2012 Cameroon presidency) was among the protesters inthe capital city Douala who were beaten during the protests again the Cameroon regime onFebruary 23, 2011.The state claims that there are almost 200 political parties in Cameroon. Only 5 of them arerepresented in the national assembly. The opposition parties possess only 27 seats of a possible180.On 10 April 2008, the National Assembly voted overwhelmingly for a bill to change theConstitution of Cameroon to provide the President of the Republic with immunity fromprosecution for acts as President and to allow unlimited re-elections of the President. (Thepresidential term limit was previously two terms of seven years). Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 17
  18. 18. The President can launch an election when he wants. The next election will be held this fallbetween September and October, and there is no date at this point.Also in the field of bill posting, it is still State-owned. Posting of all bills especiallyadvertisements on strategic points around the country determined by the state are stillcontrolled and managed by the government. Private individuals do not yet own and controlbill posts in the country. As a result, all advertisements and postings must pass through thestate and most often it is pretty expensive since it is managed by the state.There are no regulations on political debates. State television is biased to the state.It cost 1 500 000 FCFA for the registration of a presidential candidate and 500 000 FCFA for theregistration of a deputy candidate. The registration fees are refundable if the candidate receives5% of the votes.Electoral Fairness Audit Results for Equality of Candidates and Parties:Score:The FDA electoral fairness audit team reached consensus on a score of 0/10.Rational for Score:Parties and candidates must inform the state of political events, three days before they occur.Special air times for parties are irrelevant, because political content must conform to the goals ofthe state.The state regulates political advertisements such as bill postings.Although the Cameroon Constitution supports freedom of speech and press etc., the staterestrictions and censorship on political content undermine these freedoms.The financial barrier of 1 500 000 FCFA ($3,210 USD) for presidential candidates and 500 000FCFA ($1070 USD) for assembly candidates to be registered favors wealthy candidates. Thelevel of 5 percent of vote for return of registrations fees favor dominant parties and discouragespolitical participation. (A more reasonable level would be 2.5 percent which is used, for example,in Norway and France, and a stratification of available public funds based on popular supportover time or even better an equality of public funds to all registered parties.)The score of 0 percent on candidate and party influence means that based on Cameroonianlegislation there is complete unfairness. Political content and assembly restrictions, excessivecandidate and party registration fees, and public electoral funds favoring state parties undermineany elements of fairness such as special air times for parties. Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 18
  19. 19. Chapter Three: Electoral FinanceChapter three will focus on the research and audit results of Cameroonian laws and regulationswith respect to the equality and fairness of Cameroonian electoral finance laws and regulations.Executive Summary: Cameroon received a failing score of 10 percent for equality of electoralfinance laws. Although there are no limits on donations or candidate and party spending exceptfor foreign donations, and due to the low incomes of Cameroonians, these lack of limits favorstate candidates and parties. Most of Cameroons wealth is with the state and connected to it.Also, public electoral funding laws favor the dominant state parties. The 10 percent score isreflective of the freedom to donate and spend electorally, within the confines of state restrictionson political content and assembly.Research Excerpts:The following excerpts were identified by the FDA researchers as relevant. The FDA researchersmade some excerpts bold to emphasize high relevance:C) PUBLIC FUNDING OF POLITICAL PARTIES AND CAMPAIGNS OF CANDIDATESPublic funding of political parties and election campaigns was institutionalised by Law No.2000/015 of 19 December 2000. It comprises precise provisions and is comprehensive innature, allowing the various rival candidates to benefit from the public funding put in place fora given election. These basic provisions are as follows:1- “Legalised political parties can benefit from public funding as part of their participation inelections”.2- “Public funding also concerns expenditure on the regular activities of political parties aswell as organisation of campaigns”.3- “Each year the Finance Law contains a subvention destined to contribute to certainrecurrent expenses of legalised political parties”, “broken down into two equal instalments,the first is destined for parties represented in the National Assembly and the second forpolitical parties commensurate to their results in the last parliamentary elections”.4- The State participates in funding election campaigns by assuming certain expenses ofpolitical parties during elections”: charges incurred from the organisation of rallies and relatedlogistics.5- Public funds destined to fund campaigns are broken down as follows into two equalinstalments to parties running: (i) those that took part in the last parliamentary electionsproportionate to the number of seats obtained (ii) all other parties proportionate to thenumber of lists presented and approved in the various electoral districts.6- A Control Commission has been instituted to audit documents to ensure that the fundswere effectively used by the running parties for that purpose and as a matter of fact, theseState subventions constitute public funds.The provisions in force do not focus on the nature or origin of private funds that runningpolitical parties or candidates can receive, or the ceiling of campaign expenses of the latter. Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 19
  20. 20. Electoral Fairness Audit Results for Cameroonian Election Finance:Score:The FDA electoral fairness audit team reached consensus on a score of 1/10.Rational for Score:There are no limits on private electoral funding, barring no foreign funding.The lack of cap on donations favors wealthy citizens and legal entities.Public funding of parties favors significantly dominant, established parties, because based onsuccess in previous election and number of seats in the Assembly.The 5 percent level needed for the return of candidate registration fees favors dominant,established candidates.Public funding is significant in Cameroon because of the low income level ofCameroonians.Public and private funding sources are not entirely transparent. Whatever the party in question, itis difficult to get a clear answer from where the money comes from.The score of 10 percent means that Cameroons electoral finance laws are bordering on completeunfairness. FDA auditors acknowledge that Cameroonians have the freedom to donate and spendelectorally with no limits. Yet at the same time, the state restricts political content and assembly,and has unfair public electoral finance laws. Also, due to the concentration of Cameroonianwealth with the state and its supporters, the lack of limits on electoral finance and the 5 percentlevel for return of registration fees favors state candidates and parties.Cameroons per capita income in 2008 is $1217.9 per year. (UN Data on Cameroon)The fee to be an assembly candidate is equivalent to almost one years family income. ($1070USD)The fee to be a presidential candidate is equivalent to almost three times one years familyincome. ($3,210 USD)The Gini Index for distribution of family income was 44.6 percent in 2001, which means there issevere inequality in distribution of family income. The lower the percentage, the more equalityof family income. Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 20
  21. 21. Chapter Four: Voter SayChapter four will focus on the research and audit results of Cameroonian laws and regulationswith respect to the equality of voter say laws and regulations before, during and after anelection.Executive Summary: Cameroon received a 0 percent for equality of voter say. The score meansthat based on Cameroons constitutional, electoral and media legislation, voter say is completelyunfair. Although freedom of expression, assembly, and press is enshrined in the CameroonianConstitution, these laws are contradicted by the states restrictions on political content andassembly. Also, like the high cost of candidate and party registration, the state imposes anexpensive ID card registration fee, which discourages less wealthy Cameroonians from voting.Further, with no limits on electoral donations, wealthy Cameroonian voters are favoredsignificantly over less wealthy Cameroonian voters, and legal entities are favored over voters.Research Excerpts:The following excerpts were identified by the FDA researchers as relevant. The FDA researchersmade some excerpts bold to emphasize high relevance:Cameroon Constitution (excerpt)We, people of Cameroon,Declare that the human person, without distinction as to race, religion, sex or belief, possessesinalienable and sacred rights;Affirm our attachment to the fundamental freedoms enshrined in the Universal Declaration ofHuman Rights, the Charter of the United Nations and The African Charter on Human andPeoples Rights, and all duly ratified international conventions relating thereto, in particular, tothe following principles:- all persons shall have equal rights and obligations. The State shall provide all its citizens withthe conditions necessary for their development;- the State shall ensure the protection of minorities and shall preserve the rights of indigenouspopulations in accordance with the law;- freedom and security shall be guaranteed to each individual, subject to respect for the rights ofothers and the higher interests of the State;- every person shall have the right to settle in any place and to move about freely, subject to thestatutory provisions concerning public law and order, security and tranquillity;- the home is inviolate. No search may be conducted except by virtue of the law;- the privacy of all correspondence is inviolate. No interference may be allowed except by virtueof decisions emanating from the Judicial Power;- no person may be compelled to do what the law does not prescribe;- no person may be prosecuted, arrested or detained except in the cases and according to themanner determined by law;- the law may not have retrospective effect. No person may be judged and punished, except by Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 21
  22. 22. virtue of a law enacted and published before the offence committed;- The law shall ensure the right of every person to a fair hearing before the courts;- every accused person is presumed innocent until found guilty during a hearing conducted instrict compliance with the rights of defence;- every person has a right to life, to physical and moral integrity and to humane treatment in allcircumstances. Under no circumstances shall any person be subjected to torture, to cruel,inhumane or degrading treatment;- no person shall be harassed on grounds of his origin, religious, philosophical or politicalopinions or beliefs, subject to respect for public policy;- the State shall be secular. The neutrality and independence of the State in respect of all religionsshall be guaranteed;- freedom of religion and worship shall be guaranteed;- the freedom of communication, of expression, of the press, of assembly, of association, and oftrade unionism, as well as the right to strike shall be guaranteed under the conditions fixed bylaw;- the Nation shall protect and promote the family which is the natural foundation of humansociety. It shall protect women, the young, the elderly and the disabled;- the State shall guarantee the childs right to education. Primary education shall be compulsory.The organization and supervision of education at all levels shall be the bounden duty of the State;- ownership shall mean the right guaranteed to every person by law to use, enjoy and dispose ofproperty. No person shall be deprived thereof, save for public purposes and subject to thepayment of compensation under conditions determined by law;- the right of ownership may not be exercised in violation of the public interest or in such a wayas to be prejudicial to the security, freedom, existence or property of other persons;- every person shall have a right to a healthy environment. The protection of the environmentshall be the duty of every citizen. The State shall ensure the protection and improvement of theenvironment;- every person shall have the right and the obligation to work;- every person shall share in the burden of public expenditure according to his financialresources;- all citizens shall contribute to the defence of the Fatherland:- the State shall guarantee all citizens of either sex the rights and freedoms set forth in thePreamble of the Constitution.Based on the Constitution, the vote shall be equal and secret, and every citizen aged twenty-one(now twenty) years or over shall be entitled to it. Everyone who get their electoral card can votebut you must have your national identity card (not free) if you want your electoral card and be onthe electoral list. With 30% (2003) of the population without a job and which the poverty is anenormous fact, it is hard on the poor to vote.ELECAM (Election Cameroon) is an independent body responsible for organizing,managementand supervision of the entire electoral process and referendum. But in fact, it is managed by theMinistry of Territorial Administration and Decentralisation (MINATD). (Chairperson andvise-chairperson appointed by President; unclear who appoints other 10 members arechosen.) Most members (10 out of 12) are from the President’s CPDM party, thus Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 22
  23. 23. ELECAM is not seen as independent or impartial. (US State Department)ELECAM goes in the towns for registering the people who want be on the electoral list withoutgiving any prior information to the public, so nobody knows exactly where and when they are intheir town.Depending to the region, ELECAMs worker are still in their office whereas in the other regionthey are actually registering the people.Only 3 millions (2007) are registered on the electoral list upon a population of 19 millionsIn 1996, The CPDM gave money to people in the purpose for having their vote.Electoral Fairness Audit Results for Equality of Voter Say:Score:The FDA electoral fairness audit team reached consensus on a score of 0/10.Rational for Score:There is no mention of equality of voter say in Cameroonian legislation except for theConstitutionThe cost of ID cards is high for low income Cameroonians, and therefore, it is an impediment tosome Cameroonians voting.The state controls Election Cameroon.The state controls and restricts political content of voters and the media.There is unlimited third-party electoral spending, which favors significantly wealthy voters andlegal entities.There is unlimited electoral donations, which favors significantly wealthy voters and legalentities.The score of 0 percent means that voter say is completely unfair. FDA auditors could find noelement of fairness in Cameroons laws and regulations on voter say. Similar to the candidatesand parties section, voters who oppose the state are restricted severely in their say. Also, wealthyvoters have the means for disproportionate say over less wealthy voters, and legal entities havethe means for disproportionate say over most voters. The political restrictions on oppositioncandidates and parties carry over to opposition voters. Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 23
  24. 24. Chapter Five: Audit ResultsChapter five will set out the FDA’s scores for each of the areas of the Cameroonian electoralsystem as set out above.1. Research and audit results for Cameroonian laws and regulations on the political content ofmedia including newspapers, broadcasters, online media, before, during, and after elections.0/102. Research and audit results for Cameroonian Laws and regulations on the equality ofcandidates and parties influence before, during and after elections.0/103. Research and audit results for Cameroonian laws and regulations on electoral finance.1/104. Research and audit results for laws and regulations on the equality of voter say before, during,and after an election.0/10Total score: 1/402.5 percent Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 24
  25. 25. Chapter Six: AnalysisChapter six will provide a brief analysis of the FDA’s findings.Cameroons overall electoral fairness score of 2.5 percent is bordering on complete electoralunfairness.The political content of media, candidate and party influence, and voter say are all completelyunfair. Electoral finance, with a score of 10 percent, borders on complete unfairness.Despite freedom of expression, assembly, and press written into the Cameroon Constitution,electoral and media laws limit severely these freedoms.The foundation for Cameroons democracy is undemocratic. Any elements of fairness such asspecial air time for political parties is canceled out by unfairness.State oppression via intimidation and physical attacks coupled with laws favoring significantlystate candidates and parties, undermine Cameroonian democracy.Cameroons overall score is similar to the overall scores for Egypt, Iran, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain,Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Tunisia:Tunisia (under Ben Ali) 10% (F)Cameroon 2.5% (F)Yemen (under Saleh) 1.25% (F)Bahrain 0% (F)Egypt (under Mubarak) 0% (F)Iran 0% (F)Libya (under Gaddafi) 0% (F)Saudi Arabia 0% (F)Syria (under Bashar al-Assad) 0% (F)(All these countries are in the failing zone for electoral fairness, and either are bordering oncomplete electoral unfairness or have complete electoral unfairness. 50 percent is a passinggrade.) Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 25
  26. 26. In the research of Cameroon, the FDA researchers uncovered state electoral documentspurporting for example the highly pluralistic political fabric of Cameroon. FDA researchers andauditors viewed these documents as state propaganda. For example, the claim that there are over190 political parties in Cameroon is overshadowed by the significant legislative bias to stateparties and the dominance of the Assembly by five state parties. (See this government documentas an example; it claims over 190 Cameroonian political parties:http://www.thecommonwealth.org/shared_asp_files/uploadedfiles/C566DF60-FE3D-4E15-A562-195D5E2C952F_PaperbyHenryEyebeAyissi.pdf )See this article as refutation of the number of Cameroonian political parties: “Cameroon: WhySo Many Political Parties (207)?”, Dibussi Tande, June, 2007.) Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 26
  27. 27. Chapter Seven: ConclusionChapter seven will provide a summary of the FDA’s findings.Cameroon is an oppressive society through systematic control, censorship, and intimidation of politicalopposition to the state. The basis for Cameroonian democracy is undemocratic.Cameroon is an authoritarian society within the shell of a democracy.Cameroon needs significant reform in all four areas of electoral fairness. Due to the oppressive nature ofthe society, it is unclear to the FDA how such a reform may be initiated, barring a revolution.In the FDAs opinion, international pressure on Cameroon to improve its democracy piecemeal hasproven to be ineffective, and if anything detrimental, by helping to create an illusory democratic glossover the authoritarian society.The will of Cameroonians as a whole is likely not represented by the Cameroonian government and state. Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 27
  28. 28. Chapter Eight: RecommendationsChapter eight will set out the FDA’s recommendations on how Cameroon can improve its electoralfairness score and thereby its electoral fairness.Cameroonians need to decide what kind of society they would like exist in, and then strive forthe creation of that society through social and political movements.The Cameroonian government and state needs to examine its motives, and ask whether or not inthe long-term, the current status quo is in the better interests of Cameroonians as a whole?Also, the Cameroonian government and state needs to realize that an authoritarian society is lessbeneficial to the people as a whole than a united and free society. Only by realizing this basicidea will the Cameroonian government and state be able to participate in the the progressivedevelopment of Cameroon.The FDA does not support authoritarian societies unless the people truly support that type ofsociety.The FDA thinks that there is no equating value in an authoritarian society with a united and freesociety, in terms of the well-being of the people as a whole.In the FDAs opinion, if the people do not support an authoritarian society, then there is nojustification for the society except through a form of tyranny. Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 28
  29. 29. AppendixFDA global electoral fairness audit results as of August 17, 2011: F D A G lo b a l E le c t o r a l F a i r n e s s A u d i t R e s u lt s O v e r a ll E le c to r a l F a ir n e s s A u d it S c o r e s < -- f a ilin g r a n g e | p a s s in g r a n g e - -> 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Fran ce V e n e z u e la N orw ay N e w Z e a la n d F in la n d Lebanon De nm ark R u s s ia Sw eden A r g e n tin a U n ite d S ta te s Canada A z e r b a ij a n M e x ic o T u n is ia Cam e roon Yem en B a h r a in Egypt Ir a n L ib y a S a u d i A r a b ia S y r ia Foundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 29
  30. 30. F D A G lo b a l E le c t o r a l F a i r n e s s A u d i t R e s u lt s L a w s a n d r e g u la tio n s o n th e e q u a lity o f p o litic a l c o n te n t o f th e m e d ia a n d b r o a d c a s te r s b e f o r e , d u r in g , a n d a fte r a n e le c tio n < - - f a ilin g r a n g e | p a s s in g r a n g e - -> 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% R u s s ia V e n e z u e la F ran ce N orw ay Lebanon A z e r b a ij a n Den m ark F in la n d Sw eden U n ite d S ta te s Canada A r g e n tin a T u n is ia N e w Z e a la n d Yem en B a h r a in Cam e roon Egypt Ir a n L ib y a M e x ic o S a u d i A r a b ia S y r iaFoundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 30
  31. 31. F D A G lo b a l E le c t o r a l F a i r n e s s A u d i t R e s u lt s L a w s a n d r e g u la tio n s o n th e e q u a lity o f c a n d id a te a n d p o litic a l p a r ty in f lu e n c e b e f o r e , d u r in g , a n d a f te r a n e le c tio n < - - f a ilin g r a n g e | p a s s in g r a n g e - -> 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% F ran ce V e n e z u e la N e w Z e a la n d N orw ay F in la n d Lebanon Sw eden U n ite d S ta te s A z e r b a ija n A r g e n tin a De n m ark R u s s ia Canada M e x ic o B a h r ia n Cam e roon Egypt Ir a n L ib y a S a u d i A r a b ia S y r ia T u n is ia Yem enFoundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 31
  32. 32. F D A G lo b a l E le c t o r a l F a i r n e s s A u d i t R e s u lt s L a w s a n d r e g u la tio n s o n th e e q u a lity o f e le c to r a l ( c a m p a ig n ) f in a n c e < -- fa ilin g r a n g e | p a s s in g r a n g e - -> 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% F ran ce V e n e z u e la N e w Z e a la n d F in la n d N orw ay A r g e n tin a Den m ark Lebanon Sw eden T u n is ia A z e r b a ij a n Cam eroon Canada M e x ic o U n ite d S ta te s B a h r a in Egypt Ir a n L ib y a R u s s ia S a u d i A r a b ia S y r ia Yem enFoundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 32
  33. 33. F D A G lo b a l E le c t o r a l F a i r n e s s A u d i t R e s u lt s L a w s a n d r e g u la tio n s o n th e e q u a lity o f v o te r in flu e n c e b e f o r e , d u r in g , a n d a f te r a n e le c tio n < - - fa ilin g r a n g e | p a s s in g r a n g e - -> 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Fran ce V e n e z u e la A r g e n tin a M e x ic o Canada De nm ark F in la n d N e w Z e a la n d U n ite d S ta te s Sw eden Lebanon N orw ay R u s s ia A z e r b a ij a n B a h r a in Cam e roon Egypt Ir a n L ib y a S a u d i A r a b ia S y r ia T u n is ia Yem enFoundation for Democratic Advancement Page | 33

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