General Code of Regional and Local Authorities : Constitutional Laws Committee At Work

Bill No 1065/PJL/AN to institute the General Code of Regional and Local Authorities is under scrutiny at the National Assembly. The Minister of Decentralisation and Local Development, Georges Elanga Obam in the presence of the Minister Delegate at the Presidency in charge of Relations with the Assemblies, François Bolvin Wakata was at the Committee on Constitutional Laws on December 16, 2019 to defend the bill. By the time of going to press, committee members who had worked the whole day were examining the bill section after section. The legal instrument was prepared following the General Conference on Councils held on February 6 and 7, 2019 and the Major National Dialogue held in Yaounde from September 30 to October 4, 2019. 

Comprising 501 sections and divided into seven books, the document, its explanatory notes ascertain is government’s determination to fast-tract and deepen the decentralisation process, and implement the recommendations of the General Conference on Councils and the national dialogue. Preliminary statements of the bill specifies that the North West and South West Regions have a special status based on their linguistic specificity which is reflected in specific educational and legal systems which are managed under conditions laid down by special laws. Book one highlights innovations relating to strengthening citizenship participation.  The population according to the bill is involved in all phases of the preparation and execution of budgets, programmes, projects and the establishment of neighbourhood or village committees in councils.  Status of elected local officials including their duties and obligations as well as rules applicable to councils are elaborated in book two and three of the bill. Rules applicable to regions with a major innovation in the organisation and functioning of regions being the creation of a waiver status to the North West and South West Regions pursuant to the provisions of Article 62(2) of the Constitution and in accordance to the recommendations of the Major National Dialogue are handled in book five. The last two books of the bill dwell on the financial regime of regional and local authorities and final provisions of the code.

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