UPC Leaders Arrested For Protesting Against ELECAM
March 5, 2013 § Leave a comment
Gendarmes February 26, at Rond Point Deido, Douala, broke up a peaceful demonstration by the UPC Mack-Kit against ELECAM and arrested its President and Secretary General.
The gendarmes, who claimed that the protest demonstration was illegal, arrested the President of UPC Mack-Kit, Alexis Same Ndema. But the leadership of the UPC faction insisted that the protest demonstration was not illegal. They explained that the party duly deposited a declaration to organise the peaceful demonstration with the DO of Douala I, Jean-Marie Mbarga Ekoa.
They presented a copy of the declaration to the gendarmes. They also quoted the DO to have cautioned them to ensure that the demonstration took place peacefully. But the gendarmes would not let go the two senior officials of the party and whisked them off into detention at the Bonanjo Gendarmerie Brigade, which is now located in the former office of the defunct REGIFERCAM at the entrance to Bonanjo.
When The Post contacted the National Secretary for Communication of UPC Mack-Kit, Hilaire Ham Ekoue, at 8.30 am on February 27, he said the National President and Secretary General were still in detention. UPC Mack-Kit staged the protest demonstration close to a stand that had been set up by ELECAM at Rond Point Deido to facilitate voter registration. Some of the militants carried placards, while some were busy distributing tracts containing a six-point demand by the party.
The demonstrators denounced ELECAM for not being an independent body. They said that ELECAM is at the service of the ruling CPDM, insisting that Cameroon needs an Independent Electoral Commission to be able to conduct transparent, free and fair elections. The UPC Mack-Kit militants also strongly criticised ELECAM for not having as yet distributed voters’ cards to Cameroonians who had since registered. They saw the long delay as another manipulation by ELECAM to rig the up-coming Legislative and Municipal Elections in favour of the CPDM.
The UPC militants asserted that with biometric registration, cards are normally supposed to be issued to voters immediately they register. The party militants also insisted that considering the population of Cameroon, ELECAM is supposed to target some 12 million Cameroonians for voter registration, and not the low figure of seven million currently set by the institution as the target.
The six points contained in the tracts which the UPC militants distributed were some of the demands or proposals that the party has been putting out for some two years now, for the reform of the Electoral Law. UPC Mack-Kit, among other things, wants the voting age to be reduced to 18 years as well as a two-round presidential election.
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