Sunday, September 1, 2013

Pre polls-day electoral injustice of Cameroon

 Democrats now have to grapple with the sour fact that ahead of the 30 September 2013 polls for the twin parliament and council elections in Cameroon, incumbent president Biya’s party, CPDM, is assured already of running uncontested in just so many constituencies despite circa 300 political parties in existence.
            Of the 360 councils in the country, the CPDM is running alone in 120 - sanctioned by the Supreme Court perpetually acting in place of the constitutional council. Of the 180 parliament seats, CPDM has already 31 before the vote. The main opposition - my party the SDF and others are besieged with myriad intrigues targeted to give CPDM a crushing advantage.  The ruling party in Cameroon is not noticeably different from government – she has free access to the public coffers in running her affairs to the detriment of not only adversaries but the entire nation’s economy: When state ministers, directors, vice chancellors of public universities,  and other civil servants abandon their assignments, driven in public vehicles, for CPDM campaigns and meetings - it is undue exploitation of the commons by one political party; near monopoly of state owned press - radio, TV, and newspapers by CPDM is unwarranted exploitation which embarrasses other Cameroonians . In a timid financial system like ours, it is quite difficult for ordinary opposition citizens to individually raise fifty thousand and one million CFA francs for the council and parliamentary elections respectively as caution fees. Further, the greatest system stumbling block here is the arbitrary disqualification of opposition candidates’ documents for indicated faults by CPDM partisan court judges and elections body. Hence the ruling party unjust pre election victories!
The powers that be, in their characteristic assumed-panacea of quelling eventual cheating-orchestrated anger and explosion-likelihood, are currently in the field preaching “Peace before, during and after the elections”. They quote sections of the electoral code which emphasize orderly campaigns and other electoral chores.  Its no secrete that electoral code like other governance instruments including the constitution of this country has been controversially tailored to benefit the ruling party (CPDM - formerly CNU which has been ruling since independence for over 50 years now) in violation of the wishes of majority Cameroonians – the supposed supreme law of the state, the constitution was drawn giving too much authority to the president (the executive) – no separation of powers in governance exist here! Cameroonians in their generality have always expressed total disgust for this to no avail, yet many times has the constitution been amended at the instance of the executive. The presidential tenure was recently extended from five to seven years. It was again made limitless from the hitherto maximum of two terms for an individual. In the modification of the electoral code, deaf ears were paid to popular calls for introduction of the second round of voting where no clear winner emerges in the first round. The shunning of the single ballot paper which amongst other advantages prevents vote buying by unscrupulous politicians from luring voters to present the ballot papers of their opponents after Voting them  (the unscrupulous politicians) for financial rewards which negatively affect democracy. The CPDM ruling government’s regular downplay of popular concerns in her governance style prerequisites clearly deadly-uprising! In 2007 for example, the Biya regime used various manipulative methods including the CPDM orientated elections body to secure for her, a victory of above 70 percent in that years twin legislative and municipal elections. The rest of the opposition including the truly grass root nation-wide SDF was made to share the remnants. The seeming tranquility there after was to be short-lived when just in February 2008, a violent hunger, fuel-hike and bad governance strike erupted. Death toll and devastation to the national economy was high, betraying the huge popularity the regime had just feigned in the crushing polls win. It is thus distinctly clear that it is the CPDM that has inbuilt violations to the present laws of Cameroon - her intransigence to advice in formulating national regulations – so any call for peace by the powers that be now without realistic changes on present laws and governance is stupid and serves no practical purpose. Justice, transparent fair and acceptable elections and good governance, history shows is a necessity for peace and progress.
            However, one thing is universally certain – there is no bad or ugly situation which can not be corrected. Bill Clinton in his US-president years said of our country: “There is nothing wrong with Cameroon that can not be corrected”. If only we start before this 30 September 2013 polls and be iconoclastically fair transparent and introduce in-depth generally accepted reforms and humane rational governance, then Cameroon will be on the right path to emancipation from want and underdevelopment. Anything short of this will be an open invitation to continuous stagnation and trouble.
                                                            God guide Cameroon
                        Felix Teche Nyamusa, 2018 Cameroon Presidential Hopeful

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