The pioneer election of regional councillors in Cameroon is open to Cameroonians who reside in the jurisdiction in which they want to run as candidate.
The Electoral Code specifies the qualification of candidates and incompatibilities in section 251.
It stipulates that;
(1) No person may stand for election into a regional council unless effectively resident in the region concerned.
(2) However, non-residents of a region may stand for election
into a regional council if they are domiciled within the territory of the region concerned.
The candidate should also be able to should be able to show proof of residence within the last six months within the region.
The code also indicates that eligibility is open to any Cameroonian citizen, of either sex, who enjoys the right to vote, is entered on electoral registers, is aged twenty three (23) years at the
date of the election, can read and write English or French.
The law is specific for person who have acquired Cameroonian nationality. It states that, any lien who has acquired Cameroonian nationality by way of
naturalization shall be eligible only after a prescription period of 10 (ten) years, with effect from the date of acquisition of such nationality.
Candidates are also expected to pay a deposit of 25,000 CFA francs to the public treasury. This amount is returned to the candidate or to the list having obtained 5% of the valid votes cast.
Ineligibility Of Candidates
Elected office is incompatible with a number of functions especially administrative and military.
Section 180 clarifies that
(1) A municipal councillor who, subsequent to election, becomes
ineligible for office as provided by this law, shall have to opt for his municipal office or the function concerned. Where no choice is made known within 15
(fifteen) days following accession to the said function, he shall be considered to have resigned by an order of the Minister in charge of local and regional
(2) No candidate shall be on more than 1 (one) list, nor be member of more than 1 (one) municipal council.
In section 253 it states that:
(1) Heads of administrative units and/or their assistants may not stand for election into regional councils during their tenure of office.
(2) The incompatibility cited in sub-section (1) above shall be
equally be applicable, under the same conditions and during their tenure to:
– police, gendarmerie and prison administration officials;
– regional administration officials and employees;
– servicemen and servicewomen;
– judicial and legal officers;
– civil servants and public employees having to take cognizance of the
finances or accounts of the region concerned.
(3) The incompatibility provided for in sub-sections (1) and (2)
above shall remain in force for a period of one year following the end of their tenure of office.
What Happens If A Regional Councillor Is In Positions Of Incompatibility?
According section 254 of the Electoral Code,
-(1) Any regional councillor found to be in any of the positions of
incompatibility shall be bound, within no more than one month to opt for his elective office or for his current
(2) The councillor concerned shall, through any written means, inform the State representative in his region of his choice. The latter shall inform
the President of the regional council thereof.
(3) Where a regional councillor fails to make a choice, as provided
for under sub-sections (1) and (2) above, he shall be automatically declared to have resigned from his office, by order of the Minister in charge of regional and
Can Elected Official Run For Regional Elections?
The Electoral Code has made provisions for elected officials to run for regional elections on the condition that they resign for the current office.
However, section 255 stipulates that;
(1) Any regional councillor who, for reasons previous to his election, finds himself in a situation of ineligibility and/or incompatibility provided for under this law shall be declared to have resigned automatically by an order of the minister in charge of local and regional authorities.
(2) The provisions of sub-section (1) above shall equally be applicable to any regional councillor deemed ineligible.
(3) The order provided for in sub-section (1) above may be challenged before the competent administrative court.
(4) Where a regional councillor is declared to have resigned
automatically following a final penal sentence leading to the loss of his civic and voting rights, the petition referred to in sub-section (3) shall not have a suspensory effect.