29 May 2012
Following the presidential elections held on 9 October 2011 in Cameroon, the Socialist International renewed its clear call for true democracy in that country. Having followed developments in Cameroon over a number of years and having had representatives present during and in the run-up to the elections, the International identified a number of key areas of concern which would need to be addressed by the Cameroonian authorities in order for future elections in that country to meet internationally accepted standards.
In relation to the holding of the elections, the International stressed the need to address the biased composition and lack of independence of the electoral commission, known locally as ELECAM (Elections Cameroon). Without representation of civil society or opposition members, ELECAM’s independence was evidently questionable, not least because its board members were directly appointed by the President. Equally, SI representatives pointed to the need for a clear and precise electoral register and the importance of a single ballot paper to avoid abuses in the electoral process and guarantee equal opportunities to all candidates.
The SI member Social Democratic Front (SDF) and other opposition parties rightly made addressing these issues a key priority and central to their legitimate demands for a new electoral code. Though the President of Cameroon belatedly conceded to the adoption of an Electoral Code, this code does not address the fundamental shortcomings of the current electoral system.
The key demands of opposition parties for a framework that will guarantee their rights in future elections have not been met. Proposals made by the Cameroonian opposition, such as the vital need to overhaul ELECAM to make it a truly independent organisation, the implementation of biometric technology for use in the electoral process, and the abolition of presidential powers to create special constituencies have been ignored.
Despite earlier assurances from the prime minister that the code would be adopted on a consensual basis, measures that had the backing of the majority of Cameroonians have been rejected as unconstitutional. These demands, such as limiting the presidential mandate, holding a two-round presidential election, creating single constituencies for legislative elections and using a single ballot paper, could have been included in the electoral code with a constitutional amendment similar to the one which in 1996 permitted the incumbent president to stand for re-election. The importance of these measures is such that it is imperative for a constitutional amendment to be passed to allow the adoption of an electoral code that would guarantee free, fair and transparent elections.
The ruling party has once more shown by its actions that it is only pursuing superficial reforms that suit its own interests, making a mockery of their claims that the electoral code would be consensually elaborated. The absence of democracy in Cameroon and the determination of the regime to continue to hold power are at the heart of social and economic stagnation.
The dramatically low turnout in last year’s presidential elections is a reflection of the belief held by many that there is nothing they can do to have an impact on political life. To regain faith in the political process, the people need to see that the authorities are prepared to accept the will of the majority, a requirement that is regrettably absent from Cameroon’s present government. By ignoring demands for change and maintaining a façade of democracy, they are simply prolonging the critical political problems and their negative social and economic impact on the population.
The Socialist International reiterates its calls for a new electoral code that responds to the needs of Cameroon. We will continue to closely monitor the situation, in full support of the SDF and their endeavours to achieve true democracy and the recognition of all the rights of the people.
Resolutions and Decisions of the XXV SI Congress
Report to the XXV SI Congress
Member Party Congresses
26 September - 1 October 2017
Liberal Party of Colombia, Colombia
28 - 29 September 2017
22 September 2017
Presidential and parliamentary
19 November 2017
26 November 2017
Report of the Secretary General
Resolutions and Decisions of the XXIV Congress
International Women's Day 2016
Planet 50-50 by 2030:
Step It Up for Gender Equality
22 FEBRUARY 2016
In recent years the people of Africa have continued advancing and moving forward democratic governance in an important number of countries of the region. Today, more and more people in that continent enjoy freedoms and rights, a precondition for progress, development and peace. Members of the Socialist International in a good number of countries in Africa have been protagonists and actors of an era of change that has been bringing new opportunities and a new face to the political life of the continent. Nevertheless, authoritarianism, oppression and other evils of the past still linger in the political life of some of the countries in the region...
28 March 2016
The Socialist International expresses its solidarity with the people of Pakistan as they come to terms with the horrendous terrorist attack carried out yesterday near Lahore. Over 70 people lost their lives as they enjoyed a Sunday afternoon in the park, including numerous women and children, and over 300 were injured. We strongly denounce this violent act, as we have other such terrorist attacks in Pakistan and elsewhere. Our thoughts and condolences are with the family and friends of the deceased and our sympathy is with all those injured and suffering as a result...
12 April 2016
The Socialist International denounces the grave disregard of the sovereign will of the Venezuelan people and the usurpation of powers by the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) of the country, which yesterday declared as unconstitutional the Amnesty and National Reconciliation Law that had been approved by a majority in the National Assembly on 29 March this year. The resounding electoral victory in the elections to the National Assembly at the beginning of December 2015 was based on a clear proposal...
CIS, Caucasus and Black Sea
04 APRIL 2016
The Socialist International has followed with great concern the hostilities and attacks that have taken place in the last 48 hours between Armenians and Azerbaijanis with a regrettable loss of numerous lives. Our International calls for an immediate ceasefire and for an end to these hostilities, and at the same time reiterates the urgent need for a resumption of dialogue within the framework of the Minsk Group, a body accepted by both Armenia and Azerbaijan and recognised by the multilateral organisations, to resolve through negotiation and in accordance with the principles of international law...
15 JULY 2015
The Socialist International vigorously condemns the despicable terrorist attack carried out last night during the Bastille Day celebrations in Nice that took the lives of at least 84 men, women and children, and left scores seriously injured. This horrific attack continues the path of successive acts of terrorism against innocent people in France and in other countries across the world, as extremists seek to generate a climate of fear and undermine democracy and the rights and freedoms people everywhere have fought to achieve.....
16 JULY 2016
The Socialist International condemns the attempt by military forces in Turkey last night and in the early hours of this morning, to bring down the legitimately elected government of the country. Our organisation wholeheartedly shares and fully supports the clear and unequivocal statements made by the leaders of the CHP and the HDP, members of our global political family, as the coup attempt unfolds. Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, leader of the CHP, said that the country had suffered previous coups and these developments should never be repeated in Turkey, adding that his party fully depends on the free will of the people, indispensable to Turkey’s parliamentary democracy…