Cameroon Tribune (Yaoundé)

17 Juillet 2007

Cameroun: Journalists Warned Against Declaring Election Results

Journalists of the national and international press now know the practical modalities the Ministry of Communication has taken to enable all political parties in the race for the 22 July council and legislative elections receive adequate and equitable media coverage during campaigns.

They also know not only the measures taken to enable them move freely during election day, but more importantly how to treat election results. The Minister of Communication, Ebenezer Njoh Mouelle granted a press briefing in Yaounde yesterday, 16 July to present the facts to the journalists.

Movement

Minister Njoh Mouelle disclosed that identification badges for journalists and laissez-passé to be posted on vehicles transporting them have been made. The badges and laissez-passé will be given out to journalists of accredited press organs on Friday, 20 July. All these measures have been taken to facilitate the movement of journalists and access to cover the polling exercise as well as get information from officials, he said. The communication boss further said journalists will have to cover the voting within the prescriptions of the law.

The Media House (Maison de la Communication), has also been improved upon to serve as a veritable milieu for exchanges between journalists so as to ease work. The Communication boss announced that a special telephone service called "Hot Line Press for 2007 Election", is being put in place to serve the various communication and information needs of the journalists.

Election results

Minister Njoh Mouelle called on journalists to respect the law governing elections in the country. As for election of Members of Parliament, the law specifies that the results from the polling stations are verified at five different levels. The final results are published by the Constitutional Council with exact figures. In this way, the minister warned journalists to be careful with election results communicated to them by any person. Concerning the council election, journalists were advised to abide by the law of 14 August 1992 to lay down the conditions for the elections of municipal councillors, amended and supplemented by the law of 29 December 2006.

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