By Nformi Sonde Kinsai
Mandates of the 163 MPs, 'elected' at the last July 22 twin elections were validated last August 27, with the files of some of the honourable ladies and gentlemen containing irregular documents.
According to pre-validation reports read out by Rapporteurs of the six verification committees, irregularities discovered with files of some of their colleagues included: lack of serial numbers on certificates of non conviction and documents used in it establishment not mentioned; lack of marriage certificates; varying dates of birth on birth certificates and certificates of non conviction; dates of establishment of certificates of non conviction not indicated, reversed order of names on official documents, and so on.
If one goes by reasons why most of the post election petitions on Parliamentary elections were rejected by the Supreme Court that sat in for the Constitutional Council last August 7 and 8, the files of the said MPs would simply have been rejected and their mandates declared null and void.
The Supreme Court had simply disqualified most of the petitions because of procedural lapses in presentation of complaints such as failure to indicate the date and address of the complainant; failure to sign the petition or signatures appended on petitions by persons who are not candidates; failure to list down names of those voted [fraudulently], and so on.
However, and understandably in solidarity with their wanting colleagues, members of the various verification committees upheld that such shortcomings could not hamper the smooth validation process and urged the house to turn a blind eye to such irregularities.
One of the rapporteurs of the committees even observed that the irregularities constituted "material errors with no pre-meditated intentions to cause prejudices." They called on the MPs concerned, and whose names were not disclosed, to submit appropriate documents including certificates of individuality to some as the case may be, to the Secretariat of the National Assembly as urgent as possible
The session devoted only for the validation process was chaired by the eldest Member of Parliament, Hon. Abba Malla Boukar of the Mayo-Sava Constituency assisted by two other youngest members of the house. According to Hon. Abba, the session was important for it served as a forum to ensure that MPs whose mandates are validated fall within the conditions required by law.
As the Secretary General of the National Assembly, Samson Ename Ename, called up MPs for decoration with the green, red and yellow sashes and insignias, some of them holding other positions that are incompatible with the post of member of parliament also queued up and were in principle decorated. Amongst them were Hon. Emile Andze Andze and Hon. Ongolo Omgba who, an anonymous source at the National Assembly had told The Post, were elected mayors of the Yaounde I Yaounde VII council areas respectively.
According to section 23 of law No 91/0020 of December 1991, as amended by law No 97/13 of March 19, 1997, the post of MP is incompatible with that of a board chairman or the status of a wage earner in a public or para-public establishment. Section 24 of the same law equally provides that the post of MP is incompatible to that of a senator, mayor, government delegate, chairman of regional council and other incompatible posts.
The Post gathered at the corridors of the National Assembly that if MPs holding incompatible posts don't have their mandates validated first, and eventually choose to keep the post other than that of the MP, his or her alternate will not accede to be an MP. Others argued that if the MP elect resigns before validation, the act may warrant fresh elections to be conducted in the constituency concerned.
A few members of government with the Prime Minister, Chief Ephraim Inoni at the head, were also in attendance. Meanwhile, the occasion which had the coloration of graduation ceremonies brought dance groups that cut across the national spectrum with each performing to outsmart the other.