Two new constitutions, one for Ambazonia and one for Cameroun
Since both the British-knit constitution of Ambazonia (former Southern Cameroons) and the French-knit constitution of Cameroon are totally unfit for the demands of a globalized world in the 21th century, because they were drafted by colonizers 60 years ago and contain many (deliberate?) deficiencies, which led to dictatorship, top-down corruption and neo-colonial exploitation in both countries, they need to be replaced by new, modern, democratic, anti-neocolonial and anti-corruption constitutions. Therefore read through the pdfs below which show (in red colored comments in the text) how deficient these old, neocolonial constitutions are and then study the draft of a new constitution for the Republic of Ambazonia at the bottom of this page. This draft still has to be developed further by the Ambazonian Constitutional Council and is by far not finalized yet. But it can already serve as an inspiration for constitutional development not only in the (Federal) Republic of Ambazonia but also in the Republique du Cameroun.
Critical comments on the French-knit Constitution of Cameroon which prove its unfitness for the 21st century (27 pages, pdf)
Original version of the British-knit “Southern Cameroons Independence Constitution” from 1960 which has preliminary character (51 pages, pdf)
Critical comments on an “improved version” of a Constitution for the “Republic of Southern Cameroons” which prove its unfitness for the 21st century (54 pages, pdf)
Draft of a new Constitution of the (FEDERAL) REPUBLIC of AMBAZONIA which may serve as model for constitutional reform in the REPUBLIQUE DU CAMEROUN as well (80 pages, pdf, work in progress)
Guideline for Ambazonia's Constitutional Council and the fine tuning of the draft of the new Constitution for Ambazonia
Ambazonia’s territory is identical with the territory of the former “UN Trust Territory of British Southern Cameroons”, which had received a constitution by the British before 1961, which was different from the later constitution for French Cameroun. “Southern Cameroons” had British “common law” and French Cameroun has “civil law”. It is good and necessary to know all about the diametrical differences between these two types of law and about the whole legal history of Francophone Cameroun and Anglophone “Southern & Northern Cameroons” and the tragic marginalization and maltreatment the “Anglophones” experienced by French Cameroun since 1962, when France enthroned a dictator in Cameroun. But even more necessary is to understand that both constitutions in concrete, the British and the French are neocolonialist patchwork constitutions and in their quality completely outdated regarding modern standards of law and requirements for law in a globalized world. As much as Ambazonia (former “Southern Cameroons”) needed to be free from French Camerounese occupation and influence, French Cameroun also needed to get rid of that terrible, permanently constitution-violating regime of dictator Paul Biya and still needs to liberate herself further from being dominated and ruled by France. So for both Ambazonia and Cameroun it is about liberating themselves from neo-colonialism by foreign powers and they need to become defendable against those. But since it is easier for Ambazonians to liberate herself than for French Cameroun, French Cameroun will do it later, with the help of the already liberated Ambazonia. For Ambazonia now, after having gotten full independence recognized internationally and after having pushed the constitutional and governmental reset button, a booming Africa of the 21st century is waiting for her and this constitution shall be the perfect framework for reliable economic prosperity and political integrity. Ambazonia shall be catapulted from all the former miseries of enslavement into highest standards of democracy, economy, education, crime-control, and environment protection. What Europeans needed centuries for, Ambazonia shall do in a decade, but not in a copying of Europe but the African Ambazonian way.
The following constitution was drafted by Ambazonian experts for constitutional law in cooperation with international advisers from everywhere in the world, using the groundbreaking www.constituteproject.org, where the constitutions of all the countries in the world are listed and made comparable. They tried to pick the “best from the best” of any country and reconfigure it into the specific African and Ambazonian context. The result shall also help to prevent future infighting and power-grabbing inside Ambazonia especially in the critical time frame between end of occupation and first elections. Any leading figure and party of the homeland shall be patriotically obliged to the new rules drafted in this constitution and swear an oath to it. Every leader has to acknowledge the new law above him, before he can execute the mandate. Nobody stands above the law. This constitution also serves in forcing Françafrique’s outdated, exploitative policies into defeat and helping to liberate not only Ambazonia but all former French colonies from especially the monetary and military enslavement. French Cameroun and the other neocolonies of France are invited to follow Ambazonia’s example to do a complete cleanup of their constitutional and governmental system and to cut out the notorious corruption by any post-colonial power once and for all. The more Ambazonia will be economically booming in the matching frame of a new, anti-neocolonial constitution the more an exploited and worn out Cameroun (Sanagia) may feel the urge to step into the footsteps of the free Ambazonia. Nevertheless, a confederation between the two independent states can only come after French Cameroun has completed a constitutional and political overhaul and both peoples have voted for that confederation independently. It may turn out to be better though for both Ambazonia und Cameroun to remain two fully separate, fully sovereign states and nations, without forming any Confederation, so that they will demonstrate to each other in competitive fairness which way leads to further progress and better living conditions for the people.
It is more than the Anglophone-Francophone dichotomy which separates the two nations which were formerly united under the Germans and later split up by the British and French colonizers and then again artificially reunited, because both “parts” had a different pre-colonial history also, which formed different mentalities, a different political-economic approach and a different wish for membership in economic communities now. Both “parts” are not too small to be a nation on their own each! There are many smaller sovereign countries in the world and what matters is the quality of identity, the original wishes and deeds of the people and not the wishes of Europeans or the mathematics of world bankers. If the Ambazonians want to be independent, so be it!
Since the name “République” in the title “République du Cameroun” did nothing to prevent decades of dictatorship, mal-governance, corruption and neocolonialist exploitation, Ambazonia is now going to be more than just a Republic, it will be a “Federal Republic” with the option to become even “United States” at the same time, which means that the 13 to 15 counties are becoming sub-national, federal entities which each are allowed some amount of self-governance and some scope of own laws all inside the frame of national, federal, superior law clearly defined in this constitution. The original counties could be called “Federal Lands” or even “States” then, depending on the level of autonomy, but they all should have the same level of autonomy. The point is, that Ambazonia does not want to be a fake federation like the centralized autocracy of La “Francocracy” du Cameroon anymore, which was just a copy of the centralism in France, which spanned its octopus arms not only from Paris to the French borders but to all former French colonies. Ambazonia is going to commit to true federalism, which means that everything a sub-national entity can govern better on its own is left to it to govern on its own. This is more effective and organic than pure centralism and leads to higher satisfaction with politics in the population. Nevertheless Ambazonia needs to be very careful with the scope of allowance of regional and local autonomy in order to avoid tribalist tendencies. Ambazonia needs to define very well in which field a sub-national entity is going to be autonomous how much, especially regarding military and taxing & spending. Federal law shall watch over possible inter-tribal or inter-tier conflicts and basic rights and freedoms shall be guaranteed nationwide equally and not be questioned by hereditary monarchs. The Ambazonian-African type of being a Federal Republic or even “United Ambazonian States” leaves the financial control strictly to the national government whereas it allows traditional ruling in the local tier of governance. A truly FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF AMBAZONIA shall be a role model of a true liberation of any stratum of society from mental, economic and political enslavement, not only that from foreign colonizers but from domestic chieftaincies or local militias too. No matter how the liberated Ambazonia and its constitution will develop further on, with this draft here Ambazonia has already overcome the main external and internal enemies to its sovereignty, presumed that the people believe in it and obey to it and this obedience not like slaves but like politically educated, critically thinking people, who understand the good meaning and sense of each article of the constitution.
This constitution of the Federal Republic of Ambazonia also takes into account more specific parameters of the present situation of Ambazonia in the middle of the actual development of world politics and economics. Since Ambazonia is rich in resources but poor in technological-industrial infrastructure it is prone to big enemies or “vultures” who want to just “buy” Ambazonia for cheap and use bribability of needy people for their selfish, corporate goals. Therefore Ambazonian constitutional law could not just copy European or American law complexity into the rough Central African condition but it needed to set priorities which prevent this sell-out to foreign powers, corporations and holdings. Some things have to be kept simpler than in non-Africa, for example the taxation, the court procedures or the election law. So this constitution implements strict rules for checking on the accountability of politicians, for standardization of limits to foreign participation or influence, for setting minima and maxima of income and private wealth, for granting democratic participation even in form of a plebiscite, for equal standards in judicial appeals or quick impeachments, for protection of traditional cultures and for punishing of environment polluters. The new Ambazonian constitution does not know any pardon to violators of the new law or to exploiters of the good will of the Ambazonian people, no matter how powerful that person or institution may be or try to bribe his way out. All “pillars” of state are watching over each other in true seperation of powers. Should a leading figure misbehave and violate the constitution by for example putting public money into private pockets, the impeachment and dismissal procedures are simple and unmisunderstandable. Ambazonia protects herself from “out of control” world finance markets, from “out of mind” hegemonies and from “out of reach” politicians. It does not repeat the mistake of other former colonies in Africa to sell all its natural wealth out in order to get arms or seats in international organizations. Ambazonia makes only good deals anymore. It creates stability and strength in herself first and forces her power elites to reject bribes. French “code de Napoleon” or British “upper and lower houses/classes” or German “development help” or American “McDonaldization” or Chinese “Hongkong capitalism” are all abolished. Ambazonia goes Amba. The “Ambalander” comes first. The direct neighbor peoples come second. The rip off humans who come only in for profit come last, if they get in at all.
The authors of this constitution are fully aware, that every constitution is only as good as the people understand the spirit, sense and meaning of its paragraphs and articles. The biggest enemy of constitutionality and lawfulness in and out of Ambazonia is propaganda by non-benevolent people who make fake promises about easier routes. Therefore the main task of the people and the people’s representatives of Ambazonia is to educate everybody about the necessity of individual sacrifice for the greater common good. Rights on paper turn only into reality if there is actual fulfillment of responsibilities by everybody also. Fulfill your own responsibilities first before you point your finger on others, that’s the ethos we need. Written laws are just there to remind people to behave as just and fair as possible and to assure people that for the case somebody does not behave according to the law then there is an unbribable state which has got a law enforcement and a judiciary to keep law and order and to remind again a little harder until it is understood that these laws are for everybody. Laws are just a reminder not a guarantee. Laws, constitutions, humans and states are never perfect, they are all in a perpetual learning and amendment process. Selfishness is part of nature, but social behavior also. It is an illusion to think representatives of people or figures in position would just abide to the law only because there is a good constitution or because there is danger to land in prison. People want acknowledgement for their fulfillment of common duties, not only in form of money or higher position or medals, they want to be liked and honored for honorable deeds. Ceremonial rituals are very important. The people need ways and forms to express their feelings and thinkings to people in power directly. People in power should never loose the touch with the ground. Therefore this constitution shall give much room for the plebiscite and for unconventional ways of amendments and direct shaming of those who live large on the back of the people.
So everybody is invited to make proposals for further amendments and to send them to the Legal Organs of Ambazonia.
Before you send, keep the following basics about constitution drafting and amendment in mind:
First, you need to define which basic rights and freedoms each and every citizen in the state shall have and which limits or duties are also established, especially for the people’s representatives. You may copy something from the UN Convention for Human Rights or the constitution of other countries which are a role model to you, but basically you need to orientate on what’s international standard and most necessary and doable for the people of Ambazonia at the same time. Thank about that some rights and freedoms may sound great in theory but in practice they cannot be realized because the means are lacking or too many of certain groups are not fulfilling their responsibilities reliably enough. Then the focus has to go more on the formulation of a duty than of a freedom.
Second, you need to be sure, whether you want to be fully democratic for everybody with equal law and election rights for everybody or whether you want inherited chieftaincy and the division of the society into upper and lower classes. Shall there be a democratically elected power elite with relative, time-limited power or shall there be a ruling elite with absolute powers? Equal, fair and democratic election rights for everybody above 18 years of age, that would mean we are in a “Republic”. And if the internal election processes inside Executive, Legislative, Judiciary, Monetative and all other Councils and Committees are also democratic, than we are in a “Democratic Republic”. And if sub-national regions like counties or “federal lands” are allowed self-governance to such a degree that you could call them each almost a state within a state, then the nation becomes a “Federal Democratic Republic”. But since all these European “titles” sound somehow odd and meaningless in Africa, we can also keep it short and call our country simply the “FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF AMBAZONIA”, which shall be still federal, democratic and republican. Just be aware that all these titles like “democracy” or “dictatorship” are mainly ideologies on paper, and in reality of life and statehood it counts more that the able, competent and unbribable people lead and the less able, less competent, and more bribable ones obey. The worst conditions in societies come always when the wrong persons are in the wrong positions. So focus on how to apply competence and character criteria into the election processes.
Third, you need to know, in how far the territory of the state shall be divided into sub-national and sub-regional political districts and which rights they shall get in relation to the nationwide law and institutions. Federal law should overrule regional law and regional law should overrule local law or traditional ruling, but not in every case. In true federalism the self-governing of each region should be as much as reasonably possible, so that the nation is not falling into an autocratic centralism again. Poor regions in that federation shall get financial aid from the rich regions. And the nation should allow big cultural differences between different tribes or counties, so that the cultural diversity is preserved. To some extent local rulers and regional councils need veto rights against national “desk criminals”.
Fourth, just imagine to compare the structure of our state sumbolically to a temple house in which law and order is ruling and which is built on a solid foundation, and being constructed of five pillars, three floors and a protecting roof. The foundation is the people and their solidarity, accountability and faith in God and in law and order, including the Bill of Rights & Responsibilities. The five pillars are the Executive, Legislature, Judiciary, Monetative, and the Plebiscite, while the “Monetative” is not another assembly but a rigid, forensic accounting & money stability control system and the “Plebiscite” is a possibility of the people to express a wish or plea or petition or referendum on something in the middle of the term apart from the regular elections. All five pillars control and limit each other’s power. The three floors are the national, regional and local levels of governance. Each of them should have their five pillars and stand on the same foundation with the same federal law as the common frame for all. And the roof is built out of ethical and moral standards as well as good international relations which protect from inner and outer harm, like for example from another sellout to foreign powers. To have a basic model in mind about the constitution and therewith the form and structure of state is important to set the priorities well. A good “Monetative” and Plebiscite have been missing in the Cameroonian constitution so far, and that is mainly why there was so much misery.
Fifth, you need to think deeply about how to make the taxation of the people and companies fair, simple and reliable and how to install an effective controlling of all taxings and expenditures of the state to the people, their representatives and foreign financial institutes. The controlling of the finance system goes together with the guarding of the treasures and reserves by special and “unspecial” guards together. There shall never be a corruption like in Yaounde or Paris anymore. There shall be total accountability, transparency, reliability and will to fairness. Those who steal, embezzle, cheat, sneak out aso. shall be impeached, brought to court and dismissed quickly. No immunity shall protect crooked gimmicks anymore. It needs all experience of the best forensic accountants and police forces in the world to establish a tight proof finance controlling system in Ambaland. That controlling system, which is also watching over the stability of the own currency Amba is called “Monetative”. The Executive and Legislature shall not get the power to change the control system for currency, banking, taxation and state expenditures. The following guideline for expenditures of state should not be altered too much:
President’s Office: 0,5%, Secretary of State and Embassies: 2%, National Assembly: 4%, National Guard and Secret Services: 1%, National Debt: max. 1%, National and Regional Elections and Plebiscite: 1%, National Tax & Budgeting Office: 5%, Ministry for Interior, Police: 5%, Ministry of Defense: 5%, Ministry of Judiciary incl. all Courts: 5%, Ministry of Finance: 1%, Ministry for Transport and Construction: 15%, Ministry for Environment Protection & Tourism: 3%, Ministry for Health Care: 15%, Ministry for Family, Seniors, Women, Youth and Social Welfare: 2%, Ministry for Prime Sector (Agriculture, Minerals, Energy): 15%, Ministry for Education & Research: 15%, Ministry for Trade, Economy and Employment: 3%
It the Executive keeps to a reasonable frame like that then then Legislature does not have so much to do anymore which would be good, since too much fighting for every penny also costs money for the tax payer.
Sixth, we need to make sure that those who are elected for any governmental job are also the most competent for that job. Before anybody is elected or “chosen”, they have to show their (academic) history during their candidacy and if they don’t meet the required standards then they are not elective for that particular post. Period. The “inner circle” of elected leading figures shall control and limit each other’s power and reliably retreat if the overwhelming majority of that circle wants them out, but the circle shall not be too exclusive, the people shall have a watching eye and controlling hand in that as well. So the constitution has to formulate effective and fast impeachment procedures for the cases of grave misconduct in office. Ever modern democratic constitution must allow a Plebiscite in form of petitions, appeals and referenda. Leaders who grossly misuse power or divert public money shall be fired fast. For example, if it becomes obvious that the Finance Minister is wasting monies because of incompetence then the people shall have the ability to ask for impeachment of that minister by form of a plebiscite.
Seventh, inside of each pillar, we need to think deeply in how far all the leading persons or special commissions are internally elected or appointed, so that the principle, that all power derives from the people is still maintained. For example in the Judiciary we have mainly experts of law, but are they elected by the people? Are the heads of the Monetative, Military, Police, Commissions, Delegations, Embassies elected by the people? If the president or ministers or chairmen get too much power to just pick up anybody they want to see forming “special commissions” who then do all the real work dealing with money, but are not controlled by parliament or courts anymore, then the democracy and republic would be undermined. So the procedures of internal elections in councils, assemblies, cabinets, pillars, floors etc. need to be well crafted, and violations against these have to make that election invalid.
Eighth, the decision whether we want to concentrate the power of the Head of State (President) and of Head of Government (Prime Minister) into one and the same person (presidential system), or whether we want to separate them and their powers into two persons, for example a fatherly figure as president, who has specific Executive rights, and a dynamic figure as prime minister, who has other specific Executive rights (semi-presidential system), is very important. In either case it is not advisable to give one person the command over all security related forces. There must be a counterweight to avoid any coup d’etat. There are also Heads of Police, of Army, of National Guard, of Special Forces, of the Intelligence, of the Legislature, of the Judiciary, they should be empowered to counter anybody who wants to play dictator again. So especially for the case the whole state is in an emergency situation, there must be constitutional law for that case, which prescribes necessary procedures which still have to be obeyed by everybody even while at war.
Nineth, all paragraphs which contradict any main article in a way: “… and in certain cases a certain person or commission can go around the general article and follow a special law for this special case which is defined by special people …” should be strictly avoided. All articles in the constitution have to be formulated unmisunderstandably and without any backdoor of compromise.
Tenth, all chances of enemies of this constitution to start compromising it by inferior drafts or excerpts of other constitutions brought up by parties who want o grab power and rule like a dictator or neo-colonizer again have to be eliminated from the start, especially for the critical time frame between end of occupation and ratification of this constitution. So this constitution also needs “good propaganda” and the backing of all groups and people. We have to make “wind” for it and say loudly and proudly why it is the best one. And if it is not good enough yet in one part, make that part better!