Parliament : Life Of Alternate Members

Both the substantive and alternate Members of the National Assembly and Senators are elected on the same list but have different destinies.

The Electoral Code in Cameroon makes provisions for the substantive and alternate Members of the National Assembly and Senators and the lists presented by political parties to vie for election of Members of the National Assembly and Senators is incomplete without alternate candidates.
Section 153 of the Electoral Code states that, “For every seat to be filled, there shall be a substantive candidate and an alternate candidate, both of whom shall go before the electorate at the same time.”  As to the possibility of the alternate Member of the National Assembly replacing the substantive member, Section 154 of the Electoral Code provides that, “After their election, and in all cases of vacancy other than the death of the substantive member, the alternate shall take the seat of the Member of Parliament at the National Assembly until the expiry of the latter’s term.” This provision also applies to the Senate. With the provision, many alternate members of the National Assembly and Senators have taken the seats of their substantive members, mostly in case where the substantive members have been appointed to positions that are incompatible with those of the parliamentarian. In the case of the death of the substantive member, with regard to the National Assembly, there are provisions for the organisation of by-elections in the same constituency and with the Senate, the Head of State has the prerogative  to replace an appointed Senator.
Despite all these, there is usually euphoria during elections and at that time it is difficult for ordinary citizens to know which candidate is substantive and which one is alternate. The law has no provisions for any remuneration or financial benefits to the alternate member of the National Assembly and Senator. In many constituencies both the substantive and alternate members are...

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