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As 2018 Elections Loom, UN Commission prods ELECAM to curtail rigging

As the 2018 electoral year narrows down in Cameroon, the United Nations (UN) Electoral Assistance Division was in Cameroon, to prod into Elections Cameroon’s (ELECAM) preparedness and the political environment.

The visit of the UN mission led by Akinyemi Adegbola, was intended to evaluate the readiness of the elections governing body to curtail mass rigging that has often characterised past elections in Cameroon.  

Others members that accompanied Adegbola were:  Pascale Roussy, Dieudonné Tshiyoyo and Nadjita Francis Ngarhodjim.

The UN envoys met members of ELECAM led by Abrams Enow Egbe and the Director General of Elections, Abdoulaye Babalé.

Speaking during the visit, Enow Egbe, said the visit is in line with the relationship the electoral body has with the UN.

“We have important elections in 2018 and they are here to discuss with us and assess our needs. They are experts from the UN Electoral Assistance Division, whose reputation is well known around the world. We have to work with them for the continuity of the electoral process aimed at being transparent and reputable elections,” he stated.

On his part, Adegbola said the objective of the visit is very simple.

“We received a request from the President of ELECAM for some form of assistance from the UN. We have a system in the UN by which each time we receive a request, we deploy a needs assessment mission to determine in which areas the UN might be able to provide the assistance and under which conditions we have to collaborate with the organisation.

Adegbola said they are also in Cameroon to look at the environment in which elections will take place so that they can design the assistance to meet the actual needs and not just based on their own ideas of how it should look like

“The request signed by the President is quite clear in defining our area of assistance. It talks about information, education and communication.

“We will focus on that but we will also look at other possibilities and areas of assistance in which we can collaborate with partners to meet the needs of Cameroon in the areas identified,” he told reporters.

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