Senatorial Elections: Who is eligible to vote?

The election of Senators in Cameroon has been convened on 25th March 2018 throughout the national territory. Potential applicant vying to become senators have been mobilising resources while political parties are in the process of endorsing their candidates for the elections.

The senatorial polls that are taking place for the second time in the country since the creation of the senate is of a specific character; not all Cameroonians are eligible to vote.

The elections are restricted to municipal councillors and it takes place only in divisional headquarters.  According to available statistics, the majority of councils in all ten regions of the country are supporters of the ruling Cameroon People Democratic Movement, CPDM party.

If party discipline is respected, with each councillor voting for his/her party’s candidate then the CPDM will automatically with the all 70 available positions in all ten regions.

This political atmosphere has prompted some political parties have to show indifference to the senatorial and mobilise their resources for other elections.

In the meantime, the major opposition parties the SDF is planning to announce its stance on the elections after its convention on the 22nd to the 24th February 2018. Other opposition parties in the likes of UPC, NSFC, UNDP, ANDP, amongst other have already announced plans to run.

These opposition parties are expected to put in place very tactful strategies in order to convince councillors of the CPDM to vote for any other party than the CPDM.

They may also wait on the discretion of the Head of State who has powers to appoint 30 powers of the senate to pick members of their parties. During the constitution of the outgoing senators, the President of the republic appointed some members from opposition political parties.

Senators represent territorial collectivities or councils within the context of decentralised governance. The senate is an arm of the parliament. It is also referred to as the upper house of parliament.

They meet in session on the same days as the national assembly but their sessions hold as from 4:00pm in the evening. One of their main activities is to review laws voted in parliament before they are forwarded to the President of the Republic for ratification. The President of the senate is also the second personality of the Republic.

Elvis Teke