Cameroon’s Election Management Body (ELECAM) has insisted that Military Barracks would host some polling stations during the October 7, 2018 Presidential poll.
Speaking to reporters during a press briefing on Friday, August 10, Deputy Director General of Elections at ELECAM, Abdoul Karimou, disclosed that there is no law in Cameroon prohibiting Military Barracks from hosting polling stations.
“Military Barracks are public places, opened to the public and there is no law forbidding voting from taking place in Military Barracks,” he said.
According to him, it is better for military men to exercise their voting rights in their barracks, which shall also have the same modalities like any other polling stations.
“It is even preferable for military men and their families to vote in barracks,” declared Abdoul Karimou. Talking about modalities, the senior official of ELECAM said, civilians as well as representatives of political parties would be allowed to control polling activities Military Barracks.
Looking at the situation in the North West and South West Regions, the Deputy Director General of Elections pushed the responsibility of securing persons and their votes to the State.
He, however, contended that his institutions shall take special measures to ensure that these operations are done smoothly.
Even though he would not give details about the “special measures,” observers have concluded that voting in North West and South West Regions would be relocated to Military Barracks given the chaotic security situation.
However, with the very strained relation that exists between the military and civilians, it would be very difficult for the latter to penetrate these Military Barracks and monitor the process, especially in the Anglophone Regions.
In recent times most of these barracks have become forbidden zones for civilians and many families neighbouring military installations have had to relocate to other areas deemed safe.
Moreover, it would also be a hideous task for civilians to control the process given the high rate of military brutality in Cameroon.
Abdoul Karimou also cleared doubts on rumours which have been circulating that the Unity Palace and Chiefs’ palaces would host some polling stations.
He refuted such allegations and said, “there would be no polling station at the Unity Palace as well as Chiefs’ Palaces.”
He also announced that ELECAM has created 56 polling stations for the Cameroonians diaspora community as well as 25,000 nationwide.