Representatives of the different political parties that petitioned the constitutional council reacted differently to the final verdict of the court.
The constitutional council is the highest jurisdiction of the land and its verdict cannot be appealed. The council rejected the all the post senatorial election petitions and the different petitioners expressed varied levels of satisfaction with the verdicts.
The CPDM express satisfaction
The Senator from the South West region who is also member of the list the SDF petitioned against travelled to Yaounde to follow the hearings. At the end of the deliberations, Senator Mbella Moki Charles said, “Since I was a member of the list I got some involved in it. I think that the all deliberations centred on the spirit of the law, the letter of the law and of course the conscience of the judges; good conscience and natural justice. I am leaving here very happy and satisfied with the outcome of these deliberations.”
CPDM Deputy Secretary General Gregoire Owona said he has heard loud voices from several lawyers particularly those of the SDF saying that the Constitutional Council will saw the law. He says he is happy to realise that the constitutional council has said the law. There is nothing else to do and they have acknowledged of the decisions of the council. He added that elections are not won in but through the ballot box.
CDU Petitioner says they have learnt from the verdict
Koupit Adamou, CDU petitioner from the West, Our petition was accepted by the constitutional council. So we are happy and satisfied with that. We have done our job. Unfortunately, we are not satisfied with the final decision concerning our request. We hope next time things will be better. This was our first experience we have learnt and have had a victory that our petition was accepted by the constitutional council.
The council said we did not have evidence. How could we justify the corruption? How can we justify that fact that somebody was substituted by another person whose documents were not examined by ELECAM? We brought before the council list from ELECAM and the CPDM ballot which had different names for the same candidate that was our evidence. We also presented the report signed by the president and members of the polling station in Dschang which indicated that the results were made public at 12:33pm. The President and members of the council have the report so I don’t know what they want me to prove again.
SDF to handle the matter within the party
Njenje Celestin, Petitioner of the SDF for the South West said “I consulted the stalwarts of the party and they give me the go ahead. I have no regrets as far as that is concern. The struggle for free, fair and transparent election in Cameroon continues. We don’t comment the court decision especially when it is coming from the highest court of the land. Our feelings our acrimony we keep that to our selves, but what we have to say is that that facts contained in that petition were so compelling incontrovertible and watertight. To us it is regrettable. As the learned Professor Kale Kofele said we he addressed the court that the facts were so grieve that the court by its own motion address it even without waiting for a petition to be filed. But, it’s a process and we believe it can only get better. That the facts were brought before the council and the entire world is our satisfaction.”
In the perspective of future elections he said, “We have to continue with sensitising our members at the base and we know what we are up to though the path is full of hazards we are up for it.”
Professor Kale Kofele, Head of the SDF senatorial List for the South West region said we had a case before the constitutional council excerpt that procedurally there was a flaw. I was trying to call the attention of the constitutional council that when it comes to fundamental human rights, were a citizens constitutionally guaranteed rights are at stake, it is disingenuous to use technicalities to avoid addressing a substantive problem. In other courts, council is invited to amend their complaint because what is at stake is very fundamental; the right to elect senators. Each court has its own procedural requirements but it should not become a focal point of a case that raises fundamental constitutional questions.”
Regarding the fact that the petitioner was not eligible to summon the council, he said “I instructed competent council to file the petition but it is an internal SDF matter and we shall resolve it within the party. How it was possible that a case of this magnitude given the robust facts that it well be through out on a technicality. There is a candidate here in Yaoundé who for one reason or the other never hocked up with the man who drafted the complaint so he would sign it. So here we are face with this unfortunate result.”
After clearing all the post election petitions, the constitutional Council is expected to release the results of the 25th March 2018 senatorial elections during a plenary session presided over by the President of the council, Chief Justice Clement Atangana.