You Cannot “Made Public” That Which Is Already Of Public Knowledge- Ayah Paul Abine


By Njodzeka Danhatu    

The former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and President of Popular Action Party Ayah Paul Abine has discarded the opinions of CPDM barons that Professor Maurice Kamto of CRM party violated the law by proclaiming himself winner of the October 7 2018 presidential elections in Cameroon.

Ayah Paul Abine

Retired Justice Ayah Paul enunciated the section of the law in relation to the proclamation of election results on Tuesday 9/10/18 on his Facebook page.

“Has his (Kamto) pronouncement in any way violated the Cameroon electoral code”?

Below are the words of Ayah Paul Abine

Proclamation of results.

“Whereas it is common knowledge now that the Constitutional Council has exclusive jurisdiction (the exclusive legal right) to proclaim the results of certain elections in Cameroon, the question as to the meaning of PROCLAMATION appears to remain elusive even to some lawyers. Many are a layman that have embarked upon frolics of their own. But that is not as intolerable as the assumptions of members of the learned profession, guided, perhaps by sordid vested interests.

Lawyers are not unaware that, in the context of elections, proclamation involves the formal making of public pronouncement relative to who among the candidates has carried the day. Such pronouncement are buttressed (backed up) with statistic as to the scores of the various candidates. Often, the statistics are substantiated by each candidate’s votes at chosen levels.

Proclamation then, is much more than the making of a statement in public about a candidate’s score at an election. As a matter of fact, the law, (the electoral code in our context) makes it mandatory (compulsory) for the results at each polling station to be made public on the spot at the polls. If proclamation was equal to making public the results, it means that results are PROCLAIMED at each polling station.

This can only be nonsensical because it would defeat the exclusive prerogative of the constitutional council to enforce (ensure) the regularity of elections. Resorting to an analogy here could be instructive and salutary. Making public the results is like a product at the initial stage. If it is good, it will survive winnowing by the constitutional council. It is discarded otherwise. So the finished product could remain unchanged; it could be changed or sorted out.

As regards Professor Maurice Kamto’s pronouncements yesterday, it is palpably clear that he did nothing more than what the law permits. Making public his gross score at the election in subtle terms (without specifically stating the score in figures) was only repeating what the polling stations had already done. In fact, it is a contradiction in terms even to say that he “made public”. You cannot “made public” that which is already of public knowledge: you cannot make public the results already made public by the polling stations! Were that even the case, you cannot infringe the law by conduct that the very law permits. If, therefore, the CPDM barons are jittery, there is the strong/ powerful suggestion that their rival’s cautionary recurrence within the law is inimical to their machinations to turn the results around behind the scene. But at law, Professor Maurice Kamto’s conduct is NOT reprehensible. He cleverly chose his terms!”

After the victory pronouncement by Professor Maurice Kamto, a group of some individuals and associations are alleged to have sued Kamto in court. It is rumoured that the files are already in the supreme court for judges to start hearing the case. Some are spreading unconfirmed information that Kamto is now under house arrest and his treasurer arrested.

The Incumbent Paul Biya, age, 85 have always won any presidential elections since succeeding his predecessor on 6 November 1982 and has been ruling for close to 40 years.


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