|Issa Tchiroma Bakary|
The government spokesman said Cameroon is well known amongst the over one hundred and eighty countries with which the Vatican shares diplomatic relations as a land of tolerance and pacific coexistence between cultures and religions. “And on the African continent, Cameroon is one of the rare countries many times visited by the heads of the Vatican who are also heads of the Roman Catholic Church”.
During an official visit to Cameroon in 2009, the former head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI described the country as the “land of hope for central Africa”.
Minister Tchiroma also used the press conference to eulogize all actors of the September 30, 2013 municipal and legislative elections in Cameroon for the successful organization of the elections. “Apart from minor shortcomings recorded here and there, (which were fortunately quickly corrected), all the polling materials were made available on time by ELECAM, supported in this by the relevant public administration”.
According to Mr Tchiroma, Cameroonians on their part should be credited for massively going to the polls to cast their votes in total order, discipline, citizenship awareness, responsibility and loyalty, the result of which was an impressive participation rate of seventy-seven percent.
Though his ‘opposition’ Cameroon National Salvation Front (FSNC) won neither a parliamentary seat nor a council at the recent elections, the FSNC chairman, Cameroon Minister of communication hailed the emergence of new political parties on the political landscape of Cameroon as well as the powerful emergence of women at both the National Assembly (lower house of parliament) and at municipal level. “In fact, out of the one hundred and eighty parliamentarians of our National Assembly, fifty-six women will sit in, representing a percentage rate of 31.12% as against 13.88% during the last legislature”, he said. For him, the diversity of male and female actors on the political landscape of Cameroon is a clear reflection of the spirit of openness and maturity of her democracy.
It is worthy of note that according to the results of the September 30, 2013 legislative and municipal elections, seven of the twenty-nine political parties that competed are represented at the National Assembly (lower house of parliament), while nine of the thirty-two political parties that were in the race for the council elections will run the 360 councils with President Paul Biya’s ruling CPDM having the lion’s share at both legislative and municipal level.