Proposed Constitution For Cameroon
INTRODUCTION: FOR A NEW DISPENSATION
In drawing up this proposed constitution, inspiration is drawn from the Cameroonian People who are yearning for genuine change that goes with structural transformation. This is necessary to create a new and dynamic society that will give Cameroonians hope and confidence, restore their rights to fully participate in the governance of their society and right to control and shape their destiny.
This proposed Constitution draws extensively from:
- Cameroon’s bicultural and bilingual character and wealth.
- Cameroon’s political, legal and constitutional heritage.
- The Philosophy of social democracy which relates very well with the Cameroonian indigenous social systems, and
- SDF’s vision and dream of the new Cameroon that is democratic, that guarantees unity and solidarity in diversity, that is dynamic with a vibrant economy to sustain Cameroon’s Sovereignty.
SOME HIGHLIGHTS OF THE SDF PROPOSED CONSTITUTION
It is built on the democratic principle of the separation of powers among the three arms of government; viz the Legislative, the Executive and the Judiciary. None dominates the other and through inbuilt complementary roles each plays, the independence of each is reinforced for the efficient functioning of the system. Each arm of government is a watchdog and a check on the others creating an efficient inbuilt mechanism of checks and balances. It establishes a bicameral legislature which is called “Congress”. The Congress is made up of the Senate and the House of Representatives. It is permanently in session.
The President who is the Chief Executive is accountable to the Congress. He makes major appointments on the approval of the Senate. This demystifies the President and makes him just first among equals. Eligibility for re-election of the President is limited to one time only,
The Federal Republic of Cameroon is divided into Federated States and a Federal Capital Territory. The number of states shall be determined by the Cameroonian people.
Power is effectively devolved through the innovation of the three-tier system of government in which each level of government: Federal, Federated State or Local Government enjoys political, administrative and financial autonomy. Each possesses inherent powers. Each Federated State will adopt its own constitution. With many centers of decision–making and institutionalization of participatory democracy, confidence will be restored and development rekindled through healthy competition.
With an independent judiciary and access to the courts and fair hearing for all citizens guaranteed, with human rights enshrined in the constitution thus judiciable, the rule of law, justice and equality are made to be the benefit and right of every Cameroonian. The Chief Justice of the Federation is the head of the Judiciary and the remuneration, pension rights and benefits of judges are all guaranteed and charged on the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation.
The tenure for all elected officers, time of different elections and manner of conducting elections are clearly defined. There is an independent Federal Electoral Commission responsible only to Senate that handles all issues that concern elections.
To end the stark imbalances and decades of naked exploitation of certain regions of this country, this constitution institutes a Federal Revenue Allocation Commission. From an established account known as the “Federation Account”, this Commission shall allocate money according to an approved formula to the Federal and the Federated State Governments. Each Federated State shall in like manner establish a State Revenue Allocation Commission which shall allocate revenue between the Federated State Government and the Local Government Councils of the State. This is in addition to independent sources of revenue which each level of government is constitutionally entitled to. Thus, while rekindling healthy competition, will accelerate sustainable economic growth and ensure national economic development with all citizens reaping direct benefits. This will enable all Cameroonians to live in comfort, decency and happiness.
It sets the basis for a market economy as an engine to stimulate and build a healthy and vibrant private sector.
To fight corruption, embezzlement and abuse of office, there is established, a National Ethics Council accountable only to the Senate with the powers to conduct investigations and take necessary steps to correct any abnormality. In all, there are twelve independent Commissions and Councils with clearly defined powers and functions.
In order that the Constitution remains the Supreme Law of the land reflecting the true expression of the people’s will, any Constitutional amendment must be ratified by the Cameroonian People in a referendum before the President promulgates such into law. Sovereignty is vested in the Cameroonian people.
In this Constitution, we hold as a fact of life that;
Peace and equitable development, the ingredients and cementing force of unity, abandon any society in which injustice, inequality and the rule of the big whip reign supreme;
Democratic governments are not only an art of the will of the people, they have no other mission other than ensuring the well-being and happiness of the people; and National and world peace have their birth in the peace enjoyed by each individual person and injustice tolerated any where threatens world peace every where.
Finally, this Constitution sets out to end decades of arbitrary tyrannic rule by one man and remove Cameroon from the dark abyss of a police state as the armed forces are also subject to the rule of law and the President himself accountable to the electorate. It will usher in a new dispensation with a dynamic participatory political culture, a constitutional democracy and a people – centered government that will guarantee national consensus, political stability and sustainable economic development.
Bamenda, December 16, 1994.
Ni John Fru Ndi