A Precious Asset to Consolidate

The October 07 Presidential election is gone past and Cameroonians at various stages are now making their assessments. As many must have observed, this was an election full of peculiarities. Starting from the campaign period cutting through vote casting to the proclamation of results, the election was incidentally marked by growing anxiety flowing through the Cameroonian people to the political actors themselves.

It was an election in which Cameroonians demonstrated a lot of maturity, an aspect that was highly appreciated even by friendly nations. The 2019 Presidential election will be remembered as one that saw candidates crisscross almost all the nooks and crannies of the national triangle.

The population saw candidates parade the streets in cities with hired 70-seater buses; some on motorbikes, others in taxi cabs and yet many others on foot moving from one quarter to the other in what they qualified as door-todoor campaign. What they were telling potential voters is another issue. The two weeks of campaign in particular ushered in and built up a very important and historically challenging component of democracy; freedom of speech. Defi ned generally as the power or right to express one's opinion without censorship, restraint, or legal penalty, the nation was perplexed to hear what the Presidential candidates and their followers could say and say at will without any fear of whatever consequences that could ignite.

As the saying goes, many were extremely careful even though not all, not to step on the toe of others by way of insults. And if it happened that they must use language that was closer to insult, they were heard tackling acts committed and not necessarily insulting the actors themselves. Cameroonians had a taste of what freedom of speech is all about. Freedom of expression, it should be recalled is a fundamental human right. It reinforces all other human rights, allowing society to develop and progress.

The ability to express one's opinion and speak freely is essential to bring about change in society. The 2019 Presidential election, one must be honest enough to accept, has brought in an iota of progress in Cameroon's teething democracy. Some people may be wondering why freedom of speech is being hailed as a remarkable aspect portraying an advancement in the country's democracy. If freedom of expression could be all that make for democracy to be complete, one can say with confidence that Cameroon has re...



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