The process of campaigning for political parties contesting for the 25th March senatorial elections required huge financing however, the Cameroonian legislature has made provision for state financing.
Part XI of the Law n° 2012/001 of 19 April 2012 relating to the Electoral Code, amended and supplemented by law n° 2012/017 of 21 December 2012 outlines the provisions specific to the public funding of political parties and election and referendum campaigns.
In its Section 275, states that Political parties and groups shall help the electorate in the making of voting decisions. As such, they may receive public funding in the context of their missions, according to conditions fixed under this law.
The law also added in Section 276 that; Public financing shall concern both the routine activities of political parties and those devoted to the organization of election and referendum campaigns.
The law however stipulates that; Funds derived from public funding shall be public funds.
It also proceeds with a warning against self enrichment; the public funding of political parties or candidates shall not be a source of personal enrichment.
The legislature has also put in place control mechanisms to ensure that funding for election campaigns are not mismanaged.
Section 277 adds that a control commission is hereby instituted to verify, on the basis of supporting documents, that the use of funds by political parties or candidates conforms to the purpose of this law.
Political parties or candidates receiving public funding shall be bound to keep an account thereof.
The President of the Republic is expected to fix organization, composition, powers and functioning of the commission.
The law also prohibits foreign sponsorship in Section 278, it shall be forbidden for any political party to receive subsidies or funding from foreign persons, organizations, powers and/or States.
Conditions for the private funding of political parties and election and referendum campaigns shall be fixed by a special instrument.
Funding of election and referendum campaigns
Chapter III of the law outlines the conditions for public funding of election and referendum campaigns.
In Section 284; The State shall contribute to the funding of election campaigns by defraying some expenses of political parties or candidates.
The State’s contribution in respect of the expenses referred to in sub-section (1) above shall be included in the finance law of each election or referendum year.
Section 285.- Public funds earmarked for the funding of election campaigns for the election of Members of Parliament, Senators, regional or municipal councillors, shall be shared in 2 (two) equal parts among the political parties taking part in the elections as follows :
– the first part shall be paid after publication of the lists of candidates to all parties depending on the lists submitted and endorsed in the various constituencies ;
– the second part shall be paid after the proclamation of results to parties proportionately to the number of seats obtained.
Any political party that withdraws before the polls or that does not participate effectively in the election campaign shall be required to refund the totality of the amount received in respect of the first part referred to in sub-section (1) above.
So far, the political parties have been invited to deposit their account numbers so that the first part of the funds can be transferred.
The Minister of Finance and that of Territorial Administration are expected to sign a joint communiqué, explaining how the allocated funds will be distributed amongst the 9 political parties the running. The parties that are expected to receive the funds include CPDM, SDF, NUDP, UPC, NADP and CDU.