A leading member of Cameroon’s Diaspora says recent changes in the West African country’s electoral law fall short of their demands. Cameroon’s National Assembly last week agreed to extend voting rights to the estimated five-million citizens living abroad, but only to those who are registered with their local embassy and who do not hold dual nationality.
Kenneth Ndeh, founder of the American Association of Cameroonians says the Diaspora has been asking for dual citizenship and that the recent changes are only intended to benefit President Paul Biya’s ruling party.
“There are lots of things that most Cameroonians in the Diaspora have asked for from the government both at the executive level and at the legislative level. Most Cameroonians in the Diaspora have asked for dual citizenship and basic and respectable services at the consulate level of various embassies abroad and none of these things have been implemented,” he said.
Ndeh said dual citizenship is economically beneficial to Cameroon. “If the government of Cameroon were able to implement dual citizenship, as a matter fact, the government of Cameroon will be the net beneficiary,” Ndeh said.
National Assembly Vice President Emilia Lifaka said last week that the new voting privilege would exclude Cameroonians with dual nationality or those seeking asylum because she said those people be unlikely to go and register with their local embassy.