They prevented Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute from speaking in the Chamber on 30 November 2023 for more than an hour.
The disagreement between the government and opposition MPs is linked to the government’s delay in tabling the finance bill for the 2024 financial year. According to a clarification from the MPs of the Party for National Reconciliation of Cameroon, a part of this draft law was submitted to the National Assembly on the morning of the 30th of November 2023.
This was done “in violation of the law on the financial regime of the State”, article 57 paragraph 1 of which stipulates that the document must be submitted 15 days before the opening of the ordinary November session. In this case, the session opened on 10 November. The deadline for submission was 26 October 2023, a delay of 35 days. This delay was not tolerated from the outset by the opposition MPs, who are in a minority in the lower house. They joined forces to block the Prime Minister’s speech.
Members of the PCRN, the UDC, the SDF and the deputy Jean Michel Nintcheu blocked the Prime Minister’s access to the rostrum. Joseph Dion Ngute, accompanied by members of the government, went to the National Assembly to present the government’s economic, cultural and financial programme for 2024. For more than an hour, elected representatives blocked the head of government’s speech.
A crisis meeting had to be held. It was initiated by Bolvine Wakata, the Minister Delegate to the Presidency in charge of relations with the Assemblies. The meeting was attended by opposition MPs and several members of the government. At the end of the discussions, the Prime Minister was able to make his statement. But the opposition MPs boycotted him and decided to leave the room.
In his speech, the head of government stated that the programme was based on a growth rate of 4.5 per cent of the gross domestic product and an inflation rate of 4 per cent. According to Joseph Dion Ngute, Cameroon’s budget for the 2024 financial year will be balanced in terms of resources and employment at CFAF 6,741 billion, compared to CFAF 6,726.9 billion in 2023. This represents an increase of CFAF 13.2 billion in absolute terms and 0.2% in relative terms.