Cameroon: Lawyers want elective general assembly

…………The President of the Bar Association gave a press conference in Douala on April 21. – By Cameroon Correspondent – Barrister Eta-Besong Junior has debunked claims that his stay in the office as President of the Bar Association two years after his mandate had expired is of his making. Eta-Besong, who was speaking at a press conference in Bonapriso, Douala, said it is the responsibility of the President of the General Assembly to convene an elective general assembly.

The Barrister, who was elected President of the Bar Association in November 2008 for a two-year term together with members of the Bar Council, imputed the standoff within the Association to violation of its constitution. Since November 2010, when elections were due to be conducted, the incumbent General Assembly President, Barrister Meli Hippolyte, has not convened an elective general assembly in line with its constitution.

Barrister Meli, he said, rather called for a mixed general assembly during which elections, among other things, were to be conducted. “It violated the constitutional stipulation that elections are to be conducted during an elective general assembly with elections as its single agenda and not mixed general assembly. Also, the letter convening the elective gathering ought to be forwarded to the Secretary before it is distributed to members of the Bar.

Accompanied by nine of the 15 members of the Bar Council, Barrister Eta-Besong noted that Barrister Meli Hippolyte, who did not turn up for the press conference and a brief session that held shortly after said they are lawyers and would not permit any violation of the law such as the current situation. “We don’t want to stay in office against the wishes of the advocates of the Bar Association,” he disclosed, adding that the current executive is ready to give up office once the right procedure is respected. It should be noted that the current executive was elected in November 2008 for a two year term, which expired in November 2010.