Parliamentary Re-run: The Ballot VS The Bullet

Cameroonians of age 20 and above who have duly registered on the electoral registers were invited to the polls again on March 22 for a Parliamentary Elections re-run in some constituencies in the North West and South West regions of Cameroon.

Mezam, Momo, Menchum and Bui in the North West and Lebialem in the South West were the affected Divisions as per the February 25 ruling from the Constitutional council.

10 constituencies were affected. 12 parliamentary seats were in competition in the North West.

The elections came in the midst of serious security challenges recorded in the North West Region. On March 8, an artisanal bomb planted by separatist fighters exploded at the Commercial Avenue with more than five persons seriously injured. Elections had been outlawed by the interim Government of the yet to be recognised Ambazonia.

Voters who still believe in the ballot box had to face the bullets to vote. Unlike the Presidential Elections of 2018 were voters were not given the chance to even step out, Bamenda was calm in the early hours of Sunday March 22nd. Voting started in down town Bamenda without any hitches.

2PM, the GMI police station hosting a polling centre came under attack from separatist fighters. Two died in the process that had one objective, stop elections in Bamenda.

Government Ministers escorted my combat ready soldiers had cast their votes at the Regional Delegation of Mines up station Bamenda and the Government Practicing School Old town Bamenda.

The gun battle at GMI meant those who had not voted by then will need extra courage to do so.

Batibo, Mbengwi in Momo Division, and Santa in Mezam also recorded gunshots. The gunshots in Mbengwi lasted for more than 30 minutes. This greatly affected voters turnout according to Hon. Edna Mbah who puts all the blame on defense and security forces.

She says the shooting was to stop SDF voters from making it to the polling stations. Thus ensuring a CPDM victory.

To Hon. Fobi Nchinda, "elecam has not respected the constitutional council's  decision as the polling centers were still put in place instead of polling stations"

For fear of the bullet, a polling centre started counting the ballots before the stipulated time of 6PM. The turnout was lower than on February 9. This time, less than 100 voters cast their votes in a polling centre.

Despite the gunshots, some 'few' eligible voters still performed their civic right and certainly they have decided the who the 'people's representatives' would be in the next five years.

MINAT Boss, Paul Atanga Nji has described the polls as free and fair

Ndi Tsembom Elvis

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