By Franklin Sone Bayen
Candidates ought to be on a red alert against corruption of their representatives in the national vote counting commission that began its work yesterday (Tuesday, October 9, 2018) in Yaoundé with Justice EMILE ESSOMBE presiding.
as a political journalist who has covered vote counting and election litigations at the supreme court for over 15 years, I’m in a position to warn candidates to consider their representatives there as suspects until otherwise proven.
National vote counting is the most crucial stage in election results verification, where candidates have a chance to confront figures presented by ELECAM that easily march those of MINAT and CPDM, but are often at variance with those of opposition candidates.
A look at who is who in the vote counting commission is telling. Opposition candidates are often represented by lawyers or professors of law for obvious reasons, but CPDM is always represented by a moneybag for obvious reasons too.
Before the 2007 twin (parliamentary and council) elections, CPDM was represented by EMMANUEL GERARD ONDO NDONG, former GM of the buoyant councils support fund (FEICOM), a very generous man (Frank Garriba, remember?) who threw millions around easily. The impact of the generosity of the CPDM representative was often felt, even if not in their knowledge of the law.
During litigations seeking redress over election irregularities brought by political parties and candidates before the supreme court sitting in then for the constitutional council, it was not uncommon for vital SDF score sheets that could have been game-changers to be reported missing, rather mysteriously.
ONDO NDONG in jail since 2005 for non-accountability for over 50 billion FCFA, the new man in charge of CPDM vote counting is another general manager of another state company, not known for his expertise in law, but obviously with lots of millions to throw around for the same purpose.
My call to candidates is that they hire private detectives to track their representatives in the vote counting commission. The temptation there is high. They can easily sell the match.
*the author, Franklin Sone Bayen, a journalist and political analyst, can be reached at: +237 677897167, 666992044, and 693693881