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Cameroon’s electoral body wants help from Nigeria’s INEC

Electronic voting platform via SMS ensures electoral credibility

Owing to some recorded successes of Nigeria’s electoral system, the Cameroonian Electoral Body has approached its Nigerian counterpart, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to assist in cleaning up their voters’ register.

The electoral umpire is seeking INEC’s collaboration ahead of the presidential elections in Cameroon in 2017.

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Camaroon’s desire for assistance was communicated to INEC on Tuesday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, by the leader of a delegation from the electoral body in Cameroon, Mr Mewoand Hugues.

Mr Hugues said the Cameroonian Government was requesting the help of INEC in three areas including voters’ registration, distribution of voters’ cards and the clean-up of voters’ registers ahead of the nation’s forthcoming Presidential Election in 2018.

The INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, in his response, assured the Cameroonian delegation that INEC would offer the needed support to protect democracy in Africa.

He expressed delight that INEC had played host to a number of Election Management Bodies from other countries in the last one year, an indication that Nigeria’s electoral system and processes were being appreciated internationally.

“Be rest assured that you have a friend and partner in INEC. We will support ELECAM in the interest of democracy across our continent. We will continue to work towards strengthening our democracy but our democracy should also be of help to democracies everywhere especially in our own continent.

“We have the largest biometric voter register in the whole of Africa and one of the largest in the world. We have about 70 million registered voters.

“Our own presidential democracy is only second to the United States in terms of size. We will be very happy therefore to share our experiences in terms of voter registration, the cleaning up of the voter registry and the deployment of the biometric voter register,” Professor Yakubu told the Cameroonians.

He explained that in 2015, INEC went completely electronic by deploying an electronic register with electronic voter cards which were compatible with the Smart Card Reader (SCR). These, he said, added value to the integrity of the process.