A delegation of Chad’s Independent National Electoral Commission, better known in its French acronym as CENI, has ended a two-day working visit to Cameroon’s Elections Cameroon (ELECAM), during which they tapped lessons from ELECAM’s experience.
It was in this perspective that the four-person Chadian delegation, led by Ammina Ehemir Torna, member of the CENI and President of the Subcommittee on Training and Communication, as well as the Chadian Ambassador to Cameroon, H.E Ahmat Mahamat Karambal, held working sessions with ELECAM officials from July 29 to 30.
ELECAM Board Chair, Abrams Enow Egbe, accompanied by ELECAM Director-General, led the team of ELECAM officials at the occasion.
The Cameroonian experience, going by the Chadian delegation leader, seduces them, that is why they didn’t hesitate to come and drink from the source.
“In a few months, Chad is organising legislative elections. The CENI wishes to be at the forefront of the organisation of this election, which is the first since the revision of the Constitution of the country on May 2018,” she said.
“The choice we made in your country, Cameroon, and specifically your institution, ELECAM, is not by luck. You have a long experience in directing electoral procedures, with the latest being the Presidential election,” she added.
She said they are at the very beginning of their electoral process, with the deadline of the Legislative elections coming in the months ahead, and that is why they came to Cameroon to benefit from the know-how of ELECAM and their expertise.
Harping on the history of elections in Chad, she said the organisation of elections and institutionalisation of an electoral process depends on the political history of every country.
“At the beginning, in Chad, elections were the affair of the Minister of Interior. In the early 90s, with the advent of democracy and multipartism, the CENI was created with the sole mission to organise and supervise elections. Nevertheless, the Ministry of Interior shoulders the responsibility of keeping electoral documents,” she explained.
Opposition political parties, she went on, still criticised the system and that is why, in 2007, following a political dialogue, an agreement was reached known as an “accord du 13 Aout 2007,” which is the national framework of political discussion.
ELECAM boss, Enow Egbe, told the Chadian delegation that it pleases him to remind them that the exploratory mission inscribes itself naturally on the fraternal relations which both countries share.
“Our relationship is well-founded on trust-worthy interest in various domains. Firstly, edifying and consolidating a credible democratic process,” he added.
“This visit is an occasion for us to further and share the modest experiences of Cameroonians in their structure and electoral scrutiny, to open and foresee a political turnoff on enriching opportunities of democracy and to refine the bilateral relations which exist between the two countries”, he stated.
The Chadian officials, alongside ELECAM members, visited the digital and card printing centre, the Centre Regional Delegation of ELECAM, the Yaounde II Divisional Delegation, the Yaounde VI and the ELECAM registration kiosks along the streets. During the tour, the Chadian delegation was drilled on how ELECAM functions from the Directorate General to regional, divisional subdivisional delegations and registration centres.