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SDF Scribe Exhorts Women To Denounce Electoral Code 

Interviewed by Francis Tim Mbom

The Secretary General of the Social Democratic Front, SDF, Prof. Elisabeth Tamajong, has called on women to say no to the new electoral code, which describes as nonsense. She says the new electoral code, which was drafted by the CPDM Government and passed through Parliament is nonsense.

In the following interview which she granted The Post during the training of the Socialist Women in Limbe, the SDF scribe discusses mobilising women to say no to it because it doesn’t take care of women and the youth. She also talks about the training of trainers to give women more places in elections. Read on:

The Post: How will the women face the challenge of the new electoral code? Will they be able to deliver?

Prof. Elisabeth Tamajong: I can assure you, they will, even in Parliament. And with all this nonsense – excuse my language – that you call the unique electoral code, the women will see to it that the President does not sign it into the law. It is rubbish. I was a member of the Delegation that went to the Prime Minister’s office and he said it with his mouth that “the President has asked for an overhaul, I repeat, an overhaul, of the electoral system.”

That’s what the Prime Minister told us. And we asked him that, “please, when you must have compiled all our ideas, written or orally, from us, will it be possible for you to make sure you give back a draft of what you have put together for the political parties, civil society and other stakeholders, to have look before you table it to parliament?” And he said “yes.” So, I am surprised that he tabled it without showing us.

I am here as a woman and with the population that the women have in Cameroon, we are calling on President Paul Biya to look at that document and see that it doesn’t meet the aspirations that he asked us to do and he should not sign or validate it. He should not sign any text of application, because, that will be suicidal for the whole of Cameroon because the women and the youth, especially of the SDF, are ready; it is a do or die thing; because, we have no future if Biya should sign a text of application for that bill.

Does it mean that the women will go out and demonstrate?

I say we are ready. I will be at the forefront because I cannot stand to see my fellow women, youth, Cameroonians, including men, suffer because of a single unique code. The President, himself, once said he brought democracy to Cameroon and we thought that, for these last seven years, he was going to prove to us that he loves Cameroon. But this is not the case.

What is the essence behind the training of the SDF Socialist Women?

These women you see are members of the National Socialist Group of SDF Women who were elected in 2010. We have decided to give them a training of trainers. In fact, it is out to drill them on the challenges they are going to face in politics and what it takes to overcome these challenges. You know, the issue or importance of parity is significant, especially as the twin elections are coming up.

There are very crucial elections. At least, they need to be armed and be ready. This training is very vital for any woman who is aspiring to be a political leader in this country. That’s why, the party, together with other socialist parties, have decided to train the women, so that when they go back to their various constituencies, they will, in turn, train the other women in their various places and party structures and who are also aspiring for the next elections.

We understand the SDF Convention will be coming up soon. What are the SDF Socialist women taking to the Convention to ensure that they are empowered to bring change to Cameroon?

It will not only be the SDF Socialist Women but, also, the SDF Socialist Youth. We shall be tabling an amendment during the Convention so that their place would be solidified and they would be recognised in the party.

What special word do you have for the Socialist Women of Limbe?

I will, first of all, congratulate our dynamic Electoral District Chairperson in the person of Mr. Tafon, because, we have seen that he has a touch, a feeling, the support and concern for the course of the women and the youth and that’s why we say “bravo!” You should continue.

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