Cameroon: Civil Society Calls for “National General Assembly”

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Civil society groups are advocating for the establishment of a transitional government before the next presidential election in 2025. This proposal comes from the “Tournons la page” (Let’s Turn the Page) movement, which includes around ten organizations and associations, as well as religious and opinion leaders. In preparation for this, the movement suggests the urgent organization of a “National General Assembly.”

The Cameroonian branch of the “Tournons la page” movement has presented an ambitious plan of reforms in the form of an advocacy directed towards the authorities. The “National General Assembly,” according to the movement’s national coordinator, Jean-Marc Bikoko, is intended to address urgent issues.

“By ‘National General Assembly,’ we mean a national dialogue that begins at the municipal level so that all Cameroonians can express their views on what Cameroon should be like in the future. Starting from municipalities, we will move to districts, from districts to departments, from departments to regions, and from regions to the national level.”

To oversee this massive undertaking, the platform proposes the establishment of a transitional government led by the current president, whose mandate would not extend beyond October 2025, the expected date for the next presidential election.

“The transitional government, comprised of technocrats, will, with a national roadmap, organize free and transparent elections, which we believe are the royal path for our democracy and to prevent our country from unpredictable pitfalls. We think that only President Paul Biya can do this, and he should do it urgently because when a neighbor’s house is on fire, you should know that yours can also catch fire.”

This idea is not entirely new and is reminiscent of another popular demand from the 1990s: the call for a sovereign national conference. At the time, the government declared it “irrelevant.”

Soukaina Sghir

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