Friday, March 1, 2013

Senatorial Elections: Paul Biya-Fru Ndi Romance Goes Sour

Romance Biya-Fru Ndi at First meeting
The chairman of the Social Democratic Front-SDF has declared that "If Mr Biya does not talk to us; the SDF will make sure that this senatorial election does not hold. I will tell my boys to sharpen their machetes". Ni John Fru Ndi told journalists a forth night ago in Yaounde. Just a one day after President Biya announced that Senatorial elections shall hold on April 14 2013, the political climate in Cameroon is considerably radicalized. They show, in essence, the convening of the electorate for the Senate on April 14 and the modalities of management of the Electoral College (composed of regional councilors and municipal councilors) this election the first of it kind in Cameroon look extremely special and intriguing. Ni John Fru Ndi improvised a press conference at his residence in Yaoundé to propagate the position of the leading opposition party in Cameroon. The Chairman of the Social Democratic Front it should be recalled had declared that he will run for senatorial elections provided there is a level playing ground. He had also argued that senatorial elections should be after the forth coming municipal and legislative elections, stating that the present councilors were elected under MINAT and NEO which were not credible at all. Political analysts are of the opinion that it is because Fru Ndi wanted to go to the senate that he has been out in the field mobilizing voters to register. However expressionists say Fru Ndi's trappings are wanting, given that he is a controversial leader. The story is that when people expect the SDF to participate in elections, Fru Ndi usually calls for a boycott, and when everyone is expecting a boycott the SDF participates. When Fru Ndi tabled 14 points on the impartiality of ELECAM, it ignited hope in many but he latter swallowed it without giving any explanation to anybody. Allegations are also rife at that Fru Ndi had a secret meeting with Biya before he (Biya) left for France and during the meeting the two friends agreed that Fru Ndi will be appointed senator. Without such a possibility, Fru Ndi's chances of becoming senator could be far-fetched.
However, the terms of article 222 of Law No. 2012/001 of 19 April 2012 on the Electoral Code, "the senators are elected in each region by an electoral college consisting of regional councilors and municipal councilors." In the current context where there are no regional councils, the Electoral College will consist solely of municipal councilors.
And since the constitutional reform of 2008, the new regulations provide that "the senatorial elections may take place before the establishment of the Regional Councils." So the presidential decree of February 27, 2013 is not against the current law.
Notwithstanding, Ni John Fru Ndi vomited that the mandate of the present councilors expired in 2012, indeed, the mandate of councilors, who are the only voters and was extended by a Presidential decree. In this situation certainly legal, but difficult in a democracy, the Cameroon People's Democratic Movement (CPDM) party of President Paul Biya controls more than 4/5 of the 360 ​​councils of Cameroon, a position that makes him (Biya) the super favorite super to easily take control of the upper house. Added to this is the prerogative that the Constitution gives the President of the Republic the powers to appoint 30 of the 100 senators. Reasons why Fru Ndi is threatening that if President Biya wants to destroy Cameroon, he (Fru Ndi) will help him do so. Yet public opinion holds that the best person so far to be appointed President of the Senate is Ni John Fru Ndi but with the present controversy, the romance Fru Ndi-Biya may likely turn into chaos.
Candidates to compete in the elections must be 40 years old as of April 14, 2013 and should be people who enjoy their civic rights. Their candidatures must be endorsed by a legalized political party. And the candidate should be registered in a list in any of the ten regions of Cameroon, meaning that Senatorial elections shall be through a list system. Each list shall comprise 14 names, 07 substantives and 07 alternates.
Each political party is expected to deposit the list of their candidates 15 days after the Electoral College has been convened. In this case, latest date for candidatures is 14 March 2013.
Voting shall take place in all the Divisional Headquarters, which implies that the 2013 Senatorial Elections shall have only 58 polling stations nationwide.

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