The results of the 2011 Cameroon Presidential elections were astonishing. Though widespread electoral malpractices were recorded with a heavy fraud machinery from the Governors, to Divisional Officers to CPDM stewards, which was finally galvanized by ELECAM, one could say that Cameroon still has a long way to go. Two years into the next Presidential elections, nothing seems to have changed. In fact, Paul Biya is gaining more grounds. He is on social media and his party is more ready than before.
Cameroon’s opposition parties seem to be sleeping. Campaigns are not on-going for electoral reforms, especially to reform ELECAM and the manner in which elections are done. With over 50 Presidential candidates, Paul Biya will always have the headway to win with or without ELECAM. What are the opposition parties doing to change the course in 2018? As far as BaretaNews is concerned, if the opposition does nothing, CPDM will emerge victorious.
Tapang Ivo Tanku, Cameroon’s Security Analyst and a FullBright Scholar after seeing the results of the 2011 Presidential elections wrote:
” Honestly, after seeing this, is it really worth it to register and vote in Cameroon? See the result slip of opposition parties’ performances in the 2011 presidential poll. Notably on the list, is the yawning gap between Paul Biya’s ruling party, CPDM, and John Fru Ndi’s main opposition party, SDF.
Besides “wasting” votes and blaming failure on electoral fraud and other irregularities, are there any alternative political avenue(s) for a change? Yes, there are:
– Keep voting for CPDM and change nothing.
– Do nothing and change nothing.
– Inspire a winning political coalition of opposition parties and change something.
– Ask Arab spring for advice and change something.
Bert Egbe, a Cameroonian based in Ukraine confirms Ivo’s thoughts. He wrote ” The CPDM forms what it normally refers to as the “Presidential Majority” by going to bed with other political parties such as Bouba Maigari’s NUDP, Njoya’s CDU, Issa Tchiroma’s and a host of others. Reasons why you won’t spot them on the list, but they get ministerial appointments or others for trading votes with the ruling CPDM. Even Paul Biya knows how to strike deals too”
However, Timah Rene, Cameroon’s Political Analyst thinks the SDF alone can win and challenge Biya. He argues ” People calling for a coalition in Cameroon are yet to understand the reality on the ground. I have said it repeatedly, the SDF can unseat Biya single-handedly if the party can reform its structures and push for electoral reforms, ensure door to door campaigning. A second round voting system will help. The party needs to study the population map of Cameroon”
BaretaNews agrees with Timah. We have been saying over and over again that despite Cameroon having hundreds of opposition parties, these parties are the very creation of Paul Biya, most of which have no following apart of family members. We of the opinion that without a possible coalition, the SDF can unseat Biya if they do the following: Field in a different Presidential candidate, restructure the messaging, go back to the 1990’s rallies, actively engage in social media communication, expand their current base to woo in more new members. Once these are done, the people will be ready to register, vote and DEFEND their votes because the groundwork could have been done.
However, Ufa Ugynns, a Southern Cameroons Youth Leader in Belgium took another note of the 2011 Presidential elections results and said only a people’s uprising can unseat Biya. He explains:
” It should be of interest for you to know that this is not a true reflection of the votes actually cast and counted. Let me tell you that I participated by voting and stayed on till counting was over at two polling stations in Akwa Douala, precisely at Lycee Technique d’Akwa where the opposition beat the ruling party by a very wide margin. Surprisingly, the results published had everything reversed and the number of voters increased tremendously for the demon-ridden party in power whilst those of the opposition remained as counted at the end of the polls. The rigging machinery is so much grounded such that the opposition is basically helpless to defend itself. It is only a people insurrection like that of Burkina Faso that can reverse the status quo. These statistics are truncated and baseless and largely are not a true reflection of the electoral outcomes. I don’t find them credible one bit. We could advance other reasons for an inefficient opposition and not this based on these “doctored” results..”
What future holds for 2018? Can the opposition in the Cameroons make a turnaround?
God is still saying something.