Recently, people in Cameroon have been talking a lot about the draft law on decentralization, the article 246 (1) of which provides that, “the Mayor of the city is an indigenous personality of the region to which the Urban Community belongs.” Paragraph 2 specifies that he is elected by a college made up of all the municipal councilors of the boroughs of the city. People now believe that all mayors of Cameroon will be elected on the basis of indigenousness; meaning one should be a native of a region before aiming to be the region’s mayor. And that’s not what is said actually. The expression “Mayor of the city,” according to the explanations of the MPs in charge of examining the bill, is, in fact, the new name of “government delegates to the urban community.” Indeed, paragraph 3 of this article says “he [mayor of the city] exercises the full range of municipal functions within the framework of the powers vested in the urban community.”
Further on, in article 247, it is stated that (1), the mayor of the city is assisted by elected deputies. The session of the community council devoted to the appointment of the mayor of the city and his deputies is convened by the State representative on the third Tuesday following the date of proclamation of the results of the election of the borough councilors.
Ultimately, indigenousness concerns the mayor of the city or government delegate and not the borough mayors who are not subject to this provision currently being adopted by parliament.