HL Deb 12 July 2004 vol 663 c120WA
Lord Avebury

asked Her Majesty's Government: What further discussions they have had or will have with President Biya of Cameroon on progress towards free and fair elections in October 2004; whether they will ask why observer status was refused by the Ministry of Territorial Administration to certain applicants who wished to observe the partial rerun of the 2002 municipal elections held in the Cameroon on 13 June.

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean):

My right honourable friend the Prime Minister and my honourable friend the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister for Africa (Chris Mullin) have discussed the importance of a free, fair and transparent election with President Biya when he visited the UK in March 2004. The UK maintains a constant dialogue with the Government of Cameroon on preparations for the election. We were not aware of refusals by the Government of Cameroon to grant observer status to applicants wishing to observe the partial rerun of the 2002 municipal elections. Two representatives of the British High Commission observed the election reruns and we are discussing their observations with the Government of Cameroon.