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ELECAM Chair Expresses Satisfaction With Voter Registration 

By Peterkins Manyong

ELECAM Board Chairman, Dr. Samuel Fonkam Azu’u, has expressed satisfaction with the rate of voter registration. He made the declaration in Bamenda, recently.

Dr. Fonkam was accompanied by Dr. Isoufa Nsangou, one of the six newly appointed ELECAM Board members. Fonkam began his visit with a meeting with Northwest ELECAM officials and ended at ELECAM’s Registration and Encoding Centre in Nkwen where he and the technicians demonstrated how data is collected, processed and stored in the computer.

With the system in place, he explained, multiple registrations is impossible because the computer easily identifies names that occur more than once and expunges them and names of persons below 20 – the voting age in Cameroon – are rejected by the computer.

Fonkam dismissed the idea that people register for others, saying all those coming for the exercise must bring along their national identity cards and that no political party has any influence on the registration exercise or is favoured. He also disclosed that there is a permanent registration centre, mobile units that carry out registration as well as a commission in each council area that is composed of  a representative of the administration and from various political parties.

As proof of the transparency of the exercise, the ELECAM Board Chair said the law allows anybody who doubts anything about the registration to verify. He said in a bid to discredit ELECAM, some people come with several receipts bearing the same name, but the computer software disproves all of them.

“We want to prove that what we are doing is transparent. We don’t want Cameroonians to give us a blank cheque,” said Fonkam. He expressed satisfaction with the way various Divisions in the Northwest are responding to the registration exercise. He did not, however, say which Division was performing best or lowest.

Concerning those who took part in the 2007 twin polls, but who have died, Fonkam said ELECAM is not made up of magicians to know from a name whether its owner is alive or dead. He, therefore, called on family members to inform ELECAM if one of theirs who is deceased and his/her name is still in the register and the name(s) would be immediately expunged from the electoral register. Concerning Cameroonians living abroad who are willing to vote, he said a technical team left the country, August 4, for the exercise.

He added that an ELECAM team would be following later. “Judge us from what we do, not from what people say about us. If anybody wants to disenfranchise you, come to us,” he advised.

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