“We Shall Respect Our Internal Electoral Code”

Morfaw Evaristus Nkafu, President of the General Assembly of the Cameroon Bar Association.

Some 50 candidates are vying for the post of President at the Cameroon Bar Association. Is the figure not too much?
The Cameroon Bar Association groups all lawyers practising in Cameroon and those out of Cameroon who took oath in Cameroon and have not been struck off the Bar roll. The Bar has two main organs namely: The General Assembly headed by the President of the General Assembly (today my humble self). The Bureau of the general assembly comprises of the president and vice. The Bar Council is headed by the Bar Council President (Batonnier). The Bar Council is made up of 15 Lawyers elected among those who put in their candidacies. It is after the election of the first 15 Bar Council members that one of them is elected the President of the Bar Council (Batonnier). This means the 50 candidates you talked of are actually vying to be elected Bar Council members. I do not find it out of place for only 50 lawyers out of about 2,800 qualified lawyers to run for the position of Bar Council members. I expected more.
What does the function of a Bar President in Cameroon represent today? 
It is an arduous task to be the President of a Professional Association wherein all of its members are lawyers. Apart from this common denominator, some are politicians with all the ramifications. The Bar Association is a juristic person represented by the Bar President. The President is a mediator, conciliator and at the same time a judge to conflicts among lawyers or concerning lawyers. Heading such an association that counts about 3,680 members is an uphill task. We therefore need a person who has those qualities.
The election of the Bar President is usually gripped with a lot of ups and down. What mechanisms have you put in place to ensure a proper organisation of the upcoming elections?   
I have been very consistent with the plan and the time table from the first day I was voted as President of General Assembly in November 2018. Unfortunately, the passing unto glory of the Bar President (Tchakoute Patie Charles RIP), aggravated by the advent of Covid-19 bedevilled our plans of regular holding of General Assembly meetings. The governmental measures taken, restricted the holding of meetings. I regularly informed lawyers that when conditions permit...

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