In a recent presidential decree, Erik Essousse, the Director General of Elections Cameroon (ELECAM), has been reappointed for another five-year term by President Paul Biya. The Deputy Director General in charge of the organization of political elections in Cameroon, Abdoulkarimou, was also reappointed alongside Essousse in the decree signed on Thursday, November 16, 2023.
State media outlet CRTV shared the news on their official Facebook page, highlighting that both administrators will continue to serve in their respective roles at the helm of the institution for a 5-year renewable term. The post on CRTV’s Facebook page stated, “Erik Essousse and Abdoulkarimou have been reappointed respectively as Director General and Deputy Director General of Elections at ELECAM. The Presidential decree signed this Thursday, November 16, 2023, specifies that they each have a 5-year renewable term.”
The announcement generated mixed reactions on social media. Atem Michael expressed skepticism, stating, “Cameroon is always on appointment mandate, never leaving but always reappointing,” describing the government’s actions as “shameful and disgraceful.”
Junior Passy, on the other hand, questioned the necessity of the reappointment. He suggested that the Director of ELECAM should either be appointed for life or have a mandate that exceeds that of the president to ensure greater autonomy in managing elections, adding, “There’s no point in selling the goat and stopping the rope.”
In contrast, Bajeh Bajeh, another Facebook user, hailed the reappointment of the Director General and his Deputy as a “Great move.”
Notably, Erik Essousse was appointed as the new Director of Elections Cameroon in May 2018, along with his deputy, Abdoul Karimou. Essousse had previously served as the deputy managing director of the public institution. These appointments were made five months before the 2018 presidential elections.