Saturday, 13 October 2018

Director General of ELECAM Erik Essoussè Breaks The Silence At Last

While the Cameroonians are still waiting for the results of the presidential election of October 7, the Director General of Election Cameroon (ELECAM) Dr. Erik Essoussè has just decided on the conduct of the poll. 

It was during an interview granted this Thursday to our fellow Cameroon Tribune.

You had to push a sigh of relief on the evening of October 7, 2018?

Absolutely! Because since the publication of the decree convening the electoral body on July 9, 2018, only a month and a few days after my appointment, it was necessary to get started, and this, with the support of my staff for an effective organization work. This led us to set up a set of sectoral committees that would do the job in a well-organized chain. The material was stored at Yaounde Air Base which was our strategic work site.
Director General of ELECAM Erik Essoussè Breaks The Silence At Last
From there, we deployed all the teams that worked on site with the support of a thousand temporary employees who were recruited. With everyone, and the Elecam staff, we put in place a systematic work plan that made it possible to have all the electoral material on the ground two weeks before the election to allow anticipation. This was done at the chain. This organization made it possible for us to arrive at the result that we reached on October 7, 2018, because it was a question of avoiding the beginnings of polling stations.

This organization was not made only in Cameroon?

Absolutely. There have been missions that have moved abroad to do the same work, in the same spirit of anticipation. This earned us the congratulations of the diplomatic missions and consular posts where the vote took place.

Here, as on the national territory, we had time to prepare for the small deficiencies that could be observed here and there. It was about avoiding last-minute stress that can lead to problems in the line of work. I want to point out that the deployment was not just about hardware, because there were also the financial means.

The election is not only the material and the financial means, there is the staff?

In this respect, we used it after having transported the equipment to the field. This required the training of the presidents of polling stations, the agents of the administration.
This was done three days before the vote. It was about 50,000 people to train. The training consisted of the respect of the legislation, the reception of the voters and the management of the polling stations, the management of the minutes. They had to know that the minutes of Elecam were the ones that had to be authentic in case of claim.

How was the question of the transfer of voters who wanted to change their polling place managed?

These are issues that we managed well before the election. This aspect particularly concerned people on the move. This was the case with the Senate Speaker who requested a transfer, and even the diplomats who were appointed meanwhile by the President of the Republic and who were to take up their new duties. We managed that. All this has led to the results we have recorded and that everyone is saluting today.

If there were improvements to be made in the electoral process, will they go in what direction?

To keep to the material organization, we must continue to make progress in training for our staff, to give them always fundamentals, that is to say, better continue to base the electoral roll, better the groom.

It is also a question of reinforcing the display of provisional and definitive lists. There is also the section on the distribution of cards to electors. I think that although no one can deny us what has been done, we need to speed up these aspects for a cleaner file.

Speaking from abroad, can you imagine going beyond the 40 diplomatic and consular posts that are now involved?

Of course ! But this must be done gradually. In addition, consular posts have been added, like Ouésso in Congo, Nairobi in Kenya. These openings are envisaged.

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