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 Politics of Cameroon

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kosovohp
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Join date : 2010-09-28

PostSubject: Politics of Cameroon   Sun Nov 14, 2010 10:12 am

The President of Cameroon has broad, unilateral powers to create policy, administer government agencies, command the armed forces, negotiate and ratify treaties, and declare a state of emergency.[16] The president appoints government officials at all levels, from the prime minister (considered the official head of government), to the provincial governors, divisional officers, and urban-council members in large cities. The president is selected by popular vote every seven years. In smaller municipalities, the public elects mayors and councilors.

Corruption is rife at all levels of government. In 1997, Cameroon established anti-corruption bureaus in 29 ministries, but only 25% became operational,[17] and in 2007, Transparency International placed Cameroon at number 138 on a list of 163 countries ranked from least to most corrupt.[18] On 18 January 2006, Biya initiated an anti-corruption drive under the direction of the National Anti-Corruption Observatory.[17]
A statue of a chief in Bana, West Region, shows the prestige afforded such rulers. The Cameroonian government recognizes the power of traditional authorities provided their rulings do not contradict national law.

Cameroon's legal system is largely based on French civil law with common law influences.[1] Although nominally independent, the judiciary falls under the authority of the executive's Ministry of Justice.[19] The president appoints judges at all levels. The judiciary is officially divided into tribunals, the court of appeal, and the supreme court. The National Assembly elects the members of a nine-member High Court of Justice that judges high-ranking members of government in the event they are charged with high treason or harming national security.

Human rights organisations accuse police and military forces of mistreating and even torturing criminal suspects, ethnic minorities, homosexuals, and political activists.[20] Prisons are overcrowded with little access to adequate food and medical facilities,[21][22] and prisons run by traditional rulers in the north are charged with holding political opponents at the behest of the government.[23] However, since the early 2000s, an increasing number of police and gendarmes have been prosecuted for improper conduct.[22]

The National Assembly makes legislation. The body consists of 180 members who are elected for five-year terms and meet three times per year. Laws are passed on a majority vote. Rarely has the assembly changed or blocked legislation proposed by the president.[19] The 1996 constitution establishes a second house of parliament, the 100-seat Senate, but this body has never been put into practice.[1] The government recognises the authority of traditional chiefs, fons, and lamibe to govern at the local level and to resolve disputes as long as such rulings do not conflict with national law

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