The June 2020 session of Parliament has entered its third week with members of parliament defending government bills at committee level.
About eight bills have been tabled and deemed admissible by the Chairman’s committee of the National Assemble, the organ in charge of receiving and validating both government and private members’ bills before they are presented in plenary and forwarded to the competent committee for scrutiny.
Stance of the parliamentarians
So far, the chairman’s conference has not received any private members bill from the social democratic front regarding the nationality code. According SDF Senator Ngam Honore, the Social Democratic Front as a party has not had a sitting to discuss on the introduction of a bill in parliament with regards to the Nationality Code.
He indicated that during the 2014 March session of parliament, the SDF proposed a private members bill through Honourable Joshua Osih and the SDF parliamentary group to modify and complement law no 1968-LF-3 of June 11, 1968 on the Code of Cameroonian Nationality.
The draft which sought to ensure that Cameroonians conserve their nationality upon picking other nationalities unless they renounce it was not deemed admissible as a bill to pass through the Chairman’s Conference.
On his part Honourable Koupit Adamu of the Cameroon Democratic Union, CDU member of the Constitutional Laws Committee indicated that no such bill had been received in parliament. He indicated that any bill relating to the modification of the constitution is forwarded to the committee on Constitutional Laws after it has been deem admissible by the chairmen’s conference but they have not received any.
Why the link between the Family Code and Nationality Code?
Social media sources and some media organ have alleged that the National code could be adopted before the family code. However, parliament has not received any of the two drafts.
The question on the family code was raised in parliament during an oral question session at the National Assembly in view of the adoption of the bill to authorise the President of the Republic to ratify the Statute of the Women Development Organisation in the Member States of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference.
Honourable Cabral Libii quizzed the Minister of Women’s Empowerment and the Family, Professor Marie-Thérèse Abéna Ondoa on the reasons for the delays in the adoption of the family code. She explained that the draft was following its due course and it was at the military of justice for the examination of legal instruments.
The social media debate notwithstanding, it is unclear when either the Family Code or the Nationality Code will be tabled in parliament.