UPC Leaders Arrested For Protesting Against ELECAM

March 5, 2013 § Leave a comment

Gendarmes February 26, at Rond Point Deido, Douala, broke up a peaceful demonstration by the UPC Mack-Kit against ELECAM and arrested its President and Secretary General.

The gendarmes, who claimed that the protest demonstration was illegal, arrested the President of UPC Mack-Kit, Alexis Same Ndema. But the leadership of the UPC faction insisted that the protest demonstration was not illegal. They explained that the party duly deposited a declaration to organise the peaceful demonstration with the DO of Douala I, Jean-Marie Mbarga Ekoa.

They presented a copy of the declaration to the gendarmes. They also quoted the DO to have cautioned them to ensure that the demonstration took place peacefully. But the gendarmes would not let go the two senior officials of the party and whisked them off into detention at the Bonanjo Gendarmerie Brigade, which is now located in the former office of the defunct REGIFERCAM at the entrance to Bonanjo.

When The Post contacted the National Secretary for Communication of UPC Mack-Kit, Hilaire Ham Ekoue, at 8.30 am on February 27, he said the National President and Secretary General were still in detention. UPC Mack-Kit staged the protest demonstration close to a stand that had been set up by ELECAM at Rond Point Deido to facilitate voter registration. Some of the militants carried placards, while some were busy distributing tracts containing a six-point demand by the party.

The demonstrators denounced ELECAM for not being an independent body. They said that ELECAM is at the service of the ruling CPDM, insisting that Cameroon needs an Independent Electoral Commission to be able to conduct transparent, free and fair elections. The UPC Mack-Kit militants also strongly criticised ELECAM for not having as yet distributed voters’ cards to Cameroonians who had since registered. They saw the long delay as another manipulation by ELECAM to rig the up-coming Legislative and Municipal Elections in favour of the CPDM.

The UPC militants asserted that with biometric registration, cards are normally supposed to be issued to voters immediately they register. The party militants also insisted that considering the population of Cameroon, ELECAM is supposed to target some 12 million Cameroonians for voter registration, and not the low figure of seven million currently set by the institution as the target.

The six points contained in the tracts which the UPC militants distributed were some of the demands or proposals that the party has been putting out for some two years now, for the reform of the Electoral Law. UPC Mack-Kit, among other things, wants the voting age to be reduced to 18 years as well as a two-round presidential election.

Source: CPO

 

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Biya Takes Nation By Storm: Announces Senatorial Elections For April 14

March 5, 2013 § 1 Comment

Against popular expectations, President Biya has billed senatorial elections for Sunday, April 14. Biya made the announcement in a Presidential decree that was broadcast on State radio on Wednesday, February 27. Biya surprised the nation by deciding to organize senatorial elections before municipal elections.

He also made nonsense of the appeal of the leading opposition Chieftain, SDF Chairman, John Fru Ndi, that it was logical for municipal and parliamentary elections to be organised first.

The announcement means that the ruling party will carry the day since the Electoral College for the senatorial election is made up of councilors. In the 2007 council elections, the CPDM emerged with a controversial majority of councils following reports that the polls were heavily rigged.

The news of the election was broken after Prime Minister, Philemon Yang, had convened Fru Ndi and some other political leaders to give them the information before it could be announced.

But Fru Ndi told journalists at his Yaounde Omnisport residence that the Prime Minister did not have the opportunity to break the scoop to them given that before they arrived at the Star Building, the State radio had already broken the news. He said, while traveling from Bamenda Wednesday morning, he delayed at Obala because he was involved in an accident.

Fru Ndi said a motorcyclist who was carrying one person suddenly bumped into his car. The motorcyclist and his passenger died on the spot, Fru Ndi narrated. “That is what delayed me and before I went to the Prime Minister’s Office, the radio had broken the news,” he said. Reacting to the convening of the electorate, Fru Ndi still repeated what he had said several times before: “The SDF will not allow senatorial elections to hold before municipal elections.”

He said if senatorial elections are predicated on the present councilors whose mandate had long expired, it will not have any iota of legitimacy. To him, the 2007 municipal elections were heavily rigged in favour of the ruling CPDM party. He said all the stakeholders were unanimous that the election which was organised by the defunct National Elections Observatory, NEO, was a total mess.

To Fru Ndi, even President Biya, in tandem, with all other stakeholders admitted that the 2007 polls were heavily flawed. Fru Ndi warned that the senatorial elections will not be organised in the present situation if Biya does not sit down with him to explain on what logic he convened the electorate under such messy conditions.

Asked what he would do if Biya ignores his threats, Fru Ndi retorted: “I and SDF militants will sharpen our machetes and come out for a full-blown onslaught to stop the election.”  Fru Ndi said, while he was looking for every means for Cameroon to remain peaceful, Biya was instead looking for all avenues to provoke a civil war.

He warned that by convening the electorate for senatorial elections against popular opinion that municipal elections be organised first, Biya was pushing Cameroonians to the wall. With their backs on the wall, they will be forced to fight back, he said. Meanwhile, the councilors that make up the Electoral College for the elections are predominantly CPDM. Following the current dispensation, only a few parties would be involved in the senatorial elections.

The ruling CPDM party has 300 out of 360 councils. The opposition parties have 60 as follows: the Social Democratic Front, SDF- 18, the National Union for Democracy and Progress, NUDP-11 and shares some 9 councils with the CPDM, the Cameroon Democratic Union- 8, the Movement for the Defense of the Republic MDR- 5, the Union des Population du Cameroun, UPC- 2 councils and others.

Although there are conflicting statistics as to the number of councils that each party won in 2007, it is clear that the CPDM has some 10,632 councilors while the SDF has 801. NUDP of Bello Bouba Maigari has 389 councilors. From this premise, it is clear that the CPDM will have an overwhelming majority in the Upper House of Parliament.

According to varsity don and political scientist, Dr. Mathias Owona Nguini, it will be the worst thing to happen because the present councilors were elected in the 2007 municipal elections that were heavily flawed. The election, he said, was fraught with irregularities and widespread rigging in favour of the ruling CPDM. It was due to such rigging that the Supreme Court ordered for a rerun of the polls in certain areas.

One of the areas where a rerun took place was the Lobo Council in the Lekie Division of the Centre Region. Partial elections were equally organised in Douala II, Bafang, Mogode, Matomb, Pette and Mesondo councils. Due to its sophisticated rigging machinery, CPDM still carried the day at the end of the exercise. There is evidence that the opposition parties going in for the race will face a crushing defeat from the CPDM.

For one thing, the law governing the organisation of senatorial elections empowers the President of the Republic to appoint 30 percent of the senators. This means that Biya will appoint 30 out of the 100 senators that will make up the Upper House of Parliament as provided for by the 1996 constitution.

By virtue of last Wednesday’s Presidential decree, campaigns for the senatorial elections will begin on March 30. Candidates for the election have to pay a caution fee of FCFA one million.  According to another Presidential decree, each member of the electorate will be paid FCFA 50,000 allowance on Election Day.

Souce: CPO

I Will Run For Senatorial Election – Fru Ndi

February 7, 2013 § 2 Comments

“Let me break the news here, in Ndu, where the ruthless Biya regime carried out genocide, that I, Fru Ndi, will run for Senate if Biya, together with the SDF, set the rules straight. On two different occasions, I have cautioned Biya that the present councilors’ mandate expired and that they were voted into councils during the NEO and MINAT era, and the results were fraudulent.

As such, he should allow Cameroonians go to the polls this year to, under ELECAM’s biometric registration, vote new Councilors”. This announcement from SDF Chairman, Ni John Fru Ndi, currently touring Cameroon on voter sensitization, was greeted with shouts of joy from SDF militants and sympathisers who gave Fru Ndi a standing ovation.

When Fru Ndi recalled how gendarmes carried out genocide in Ndu in 1992 and forced broken bottles into women genitals, anger was visible on most faces at the rally. Fru Ndi said, after sending MPs and Mayors to Parliament and Councils, he will contest the Senatorial race provided the field is level.

“The politics of Cameroon has been reduced to two parties, the SDF and CPDM. We are going to floor the CPDM, reasons why they want to use the fake figures of past elections, because even with ELECAM, biometric registration is not totally to our taste,” Fru Ndi said. According to Fru Ndi, Biya knows too well that he (Biya) has never defeated him (Fru Ndi) in any elections.

Going by past elections results and vote buying, Fru Ndi regretted that poverty has made some Cameroonians to be very gullible. That is why, according to him, vote buying has landed more than half of Biya’s former cabinet ministers in prison. He said the main message he came with was for all Cameroonians to register their names in the voters’ roll, for them to vote in the upcoming Parliamentary and Municipal elections.

The MP for Ndu Subdivision, Hon. Esther Ngala, thanked the SDF Chieftain for braving the bad roads to Ndu, and used the occasion to enumerate her achievements from the time she entered parliament, ranging from realisation of health, educational and socio-economic projects that, according to her, have changed the lives of her people. Describing Hon. Mrs. Esther Ngala as “the Margaret Thatcher of Ndu”, the SDF District Chairman for Ndu, Eric Ngaba, said Hon Esther Ngala has achieved much in five years as the lone female MP for the SDF.

The District Chairman said the problem of frequent break down of the computerised biometric kits and the shortage of ELECAM staff has greatly slowed down the registration process. He equally complained that “scammers have invaded the political scene”, whom he warned should not dare to disrupt other party activities else they will face the wrath of the SDF.

He said a strike action took place recently in Ndu by a drivers’ trade union that paralyzed Ndu, allegedly masterminded by some CPDM militants. “The strike action of last week that lasted for a week recalls painful memories and reminds us of the taxation drive that was initiated and carried out in 1992 by reckless, repressive forces of Mr. Biya where property was looted and others died in the process in Ndu,” he said.

The SDF District Chairman said Cameroonians should hold Biya to apologise and compensate all Ndu genocide victims, because, to him, the high HIV/AIDS prevalence in the area is as a result of rape on women and girls. In Ako, Mesaje, Tabenken, Mbiame, Nkum and Lus – Nwa, Fru Ndi’s message was “go and register now”. The next lap of the visit will take him to Momo Division, Boyo, Ngoketunjia, Jakin, Oku and Nkor – Noni Subdivisions on February 6.

 

Source: Cameroonpostline

 

Marafa, The CPDM, And The Rest Of Us

July 17, 2012 § 15 Comments

Marafa Hamidou Yaya was arrested and put on “preventive detention” in April 2012, with Ephraim Inoni, a former Prime Minister.

In the process, we are learning again that it is not free, independent state institutions that are playing their role of investigating, arresting and detaining suspects; it is all at the pleasure of one all powerful man, Paul Biya, President of the Republic. Reason why motions of support to Paul Biya are with us again, praising him for the arrest of Marafa and Inoni – from CPDM MPs, the National Youth Council, Mfoundi CPDM, and more, probably, to follow in the days ahead.

Like for many political parties, “democracy” is also the pet “slogan” of the CPDM, which they included it in the name of their party, but their militants seem to have very little idea of what it means. Party solidarity cannot be allowed to endanger the rights of the individual member whose free will must remain realised and promoted by the party.

Since Marafa published his letters, the CPDM has promoted the politics of personal destruction – visceral, mean-spirited campaigns to destroy him in public opinion – which I find disheartening and bad for the present and future of the country. I know in the jungle of the politics Cameroonians play, the importance of putting one’s self in the place of another – empathy – to experience what they were feeling and to understand their motives and desires, is never as strong in us as in other societies.

In Africa, the individual is not yet liberated from the traditional bonds of community and from the representation of the world as an organic hierarchical totality. This is why we usually hear appeals, like we are hearing from the CPDM to ethnic, religious, traditional or party bonds of solidarity to dampen society’s self-interrogation and self-critique, as characterised by the Marafa letters. To those who spend their time asking why Marafa is only making his revelations today, there is no privileged standpoint from which such revelations can be made; and there is no appropriate moment.

Marafa’s letters indicate that the official political expression we discern in public – motions of support and all – does not necessarily represent popular sentiments. It is those who lost sight of this that were surprised at the speed at which the Marafa letters emerged in the wake of his arrest.

Without focus on the underlying meaning of the behaviour of individuals, it will always be difficult to predict the evolution of a political system like Cameroon’s. I have always known that individuals might find it advantageous to hide their true political sentiments from officialdom, so political values should never be judged on the basis of publicly observable and quantifiable measures of support, since the mere existence of motions and rallies of support do not infer popular support, especially for aging leaders that have spent too much time in power! Indeed, in a regime like ours, true political values are hardly ever expressed in public; the landscape usually looks calm and tranquil when it is rife with subterranean discord.

Newspapers are reporting that, following Marafa’s letters, Paul Biya instructed the SG at the Presidency to open investigations into the bribery allegations linked to the CAMAIR maintenance contract. But the documents on which these instructions are based were available to him since 2001 because they were provided to Cameroon by Advanced Technics Trust Ltd to enable Cameroon to win its case against South Africa Airways, as per the agreement signed between the two parties on 26/06/2001.

This is why another contribution of Marafa’s revelations is the further exposure to the rest of us of the manner the country has been run since Paul Biya took over from Ahidjo in November 1982; he has kept recycling corrupt people in his governments, in spite of his knowledge of their dirty files, and so emboldened them to turn Cameroon into a corruption fraternity in 30 years of his reign. In doing this, he turned government from an expression of leadership, to the service of slaves to a master, as so aptly put by one of his sycophantic university don! He failed to follow the advice that a party leader, like an army officer cannot expect to impose discipline on his subordinates unless he is capable of accepting and working to the same discipline himself; he cannot successfully fight corruption within the ranks of his party and regime, unless he is an example of the incorruptible. This is why we witness daily a curious discrepancy in the behaviour of the CPDM: what they say and what they do seem to always exist in separate compartments!

The CPDM Newspaper, l’Action No. 254 of July 11, 2012, waded into the 32.5 billion case against the government, “after several weeks’ investigation on the whereabouts of the money.” Their conclusions reveal the blurred mindset of the CPDM related to corruption. The paper writes: “Following negotiations, Transnet SAA accepted to pay the sum of 26 million US$ (14 billion FCFA), which Cameroon accepted. The 14 billion were naturally deposited in the account of Cameroon in SGBC central branch in Paris. Part of the money served in the payment of the results allowance, part served to pay bailiffs and other witnesses that helped the commission to assemble its evidence, the rest was transferred to government coffers…”

L’Action further informs the rest of us that account no 00078013914 was opened in SGBC central branch in Paris in the name of the Republic of Cameroon to take care of legal fees. The Cameroon Government obviously put money (how much?) into the account even before the money from SAA was deposited into it. What was the total sum in the account following the deposition of the money from SAA? We need these details of how taxpayer’s money was spent, but l’Action newspaper that carried out investigations “for several weeks,” failed to give us, hoping to clean the image of the CPDM Government and regime without much effort!

The crash of Cameroon Airlines Boeing 737-200 (Nyong) is related to the commissions (bribes) given to Cameroon Government officials to derail the purpose of the contract of maintenance of Boeing 737 and 747 of Cameroon between CAMAIR and Transnet South African Airways because it was effectively the non-maintenance of the planes that led to the crash, and the loss of lives. Indeed, it is the crash and loss of lives that brought the bribery crimes to the fore and caused Cameroon to pursue South Africa Airways for non-execution of contract!

L’Action newspaper does not seem to know that the 32.5 billion have become the microcosm of the budget of Cameroon, and Cameroonians are interested in knowing how each franc of the money was spent. If l’Action newspaper is interested in answering the question “What happened to the 32.5 billion” which constituted the purpose of the “several weeks” investigation, they should know that by now, the rest of us want to know the exact amounts that served each purpose.

Mental health is the ability to adapt to the stresses and misfortunes of life; the ability to cope with anxiety and depression in a healthy way. An outstanding feature of successful adaptation is that it leaves the way open for future growth. Marafa has shown himself to be totally on top of such afflictions; his response through his letters is virtually an exhortation to some of his colleagues who are suffering the same fate as himself to stand up and play the man. He has shown that just as it is usually necessary to sacrifice peace if freedom and justice are to prevail, it may usually be necessary to sacrifice loyalty for freedom and justice to prevail. He has shown us all that in the arduous task of building a new Cameroon, there are many who should not be pigeon-holed; and he has shown that he is a man for all seasons and all reasons.

Source: Cameroonpostline

The Incumbent, Pres. (Mr.) Paul Biya thanks Cameroonians for re-electing him as President of the Republic of Cameroon #cmr11.

October 25, 2011 § Leave a comment

Fellow Cameroonians,

My Dear Compatriots,

In accordance with our Constitution, the Supreme Court, acting as the Constitutional Council, has just announced the results of the 9 October 2011 presidential election.

In a completely sovereign, free and transparent manner, you have once again decided to entrust me with the office of President of the Republic.

Thank you for having thus renewed your trust in me.

My thanks go first and foremost to all the militants of the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement, the militants of the other parties of the presidential majority and all those who voted for me.

Having been “elected by the whole Nation” in accordance with the provisions of our Constitution, I wish to congratulate all my compatriots who, regardless of their convictions, went to the polls and thus performed their electoral duty. By going quietly to the polls, they have once more demonstrated their high sense of responsibility and their attachment to democracy.

My congratulations also go to all the stakeholders in the electoral process, notably Elections Cameroon, the Supreme Court, the candidates, political parties, the media, the forces of law and order and territorial administration, etc. In their various spheres of competence, each of these stakeholders contributed to the successful conduct of the 9 October poll and hence played a role in writing a new page of our democratic experience.

I am happy to note that our democracy is doing well.

My Dear Compatriots,

Rest assured that I fully fathom the magnitude of the task you have once more entrusted to me.

I am encouraged by your confidence to pursue ongoing efforts towards making Cameroon a prosperous, just and fraternal country.

Your trust warrants me to carry through the Major Accomplishments vision which I presented to you and which is henceforth your vision, the vision of the Cameroonian people.

Together, we will translate the Major Accomplishments into Great Success Stories.

Together, we will make Cameroon an emerging country, that is, a country with strong democratic institutions, enjoying strong and sustainable growth, based on social justice.

Together, – Cameroonians from all regions, of all religious, language and social backgrounds, from all walks of life and of all generations – we are going to transform our country into a vast construction site which will provide job opportunities for young people and create wealth that can be redistributed equitably.

Together, we are going to strengthen true gender equality; we are going to increase youth participation in public affairs; we are going to consolidate peace in our country.

Together, we are going to achieve progress by giving Fresh Impetus to all sectors of national life.

My Dear Compatriots,

Such is the challenge facing us at the dawn of this new seven-year tenure. Wherever you are and whatever your place in our society, I am urging you all to join forces so that together we can meet this challenge and move forward on the path of democracy and social progress.

Long Live the Republic!

Long Live Cameroon!

 

Yaounde, 25-10-2011

Source

Social media buzz about Cameroon’s elections reveals widespread concerns.

October 6, 2011 § Leave a comment

Cameroon’s October 9th presidential election is fast approaching, and social media is being used to create a dialogue, raise concerns and share information about the event.

Paul Baya billboard, running for Cameroonians elections

The country’s incumbent, Paul Biya of the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement, has been in power for 30 years despite general dissatisfaction and outcries for the president to step down. There are currently 23 candidates in the race with John Fru Ndi of the Social Democratic Front running a distant second to Biya.

The blogging community, Global Voices, is running special coverage entitled Cameroon Elections 2011 that features blog posts from citizens around the world about the elections. The bloggers have discussed various issues surrounding the election, many accusing Biya of election corruption such as paying off politicians to falsely run against him.

CNN has reported on Biya’s “complacent attitude” since he has not been campaigning in the field. His behavior implies that Biya “plans to win through election rigging and fraud.” Youth are allegedly being paid by Biya to support the leader in the streets, and nearly all government campaigning money has been distributed to his party alone.

The Twitter community is also closely following the election, sharing articles, information, and social media tools with one another. A site that has been Tweeted frequently is one that keeps track of the election search trends. Through the tool, anyone can see which party leader or election issues are being searched the most on Google.

Cameroon Election Search Trends, from http://www.google.cm/intl/en/landing/elections/2011/

Social media has allowed those interested in Cameroon’s elections to share information in ways that were never possible before. But the country lags far behind others in the region in terms of Internet penetration rates. With only 5% of the country having Internet access, most citizens will not be able to follow the social media that is providing critical perspectives on the election. Were the majority of the country’s citizens able to follow the elections online, there might be more potential for a nation-wide movement against Biya and his alleged election rigging.

Source

Cameroon president’s campaign tactic strategy sparks concern.

October 5, 2011 § 1 Comment

Douala, Cameroons (CNN) — Both supporters and opponents of Cameroon President Paul Biya say they are concerned about his complacent attitude in the campaign leading to the October 9 election, with some saying he plans to win through election rigging and fraud.

Campaigning enters the final phase this week with all 22 opposition candidates crisscrossing the nation, but Biya has not been seen campaigning anywhere in the field.

“We are very worried and bitter about our candidate sitting in the air-conditioned office and sending us to the field as if we are slaves,” Christopher Ambe told CNN. “He is very proud even to go down to the ordinary Cameroonian on the streets.”

Ambe said young people are being paid by Biya’s Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement to take to the streets in support of the leader, who has been in power for nearly 30 years.

A citizen who spoke to CNN on grounds of anonymity noted that “in other countries like Zimbabwe, Zambia and Ghana, we see other presidents who seek re-election campaigning in villages and on streets. If our president is too old to do that, let him step down for the young leaders to have a chance.”

The main opposition candidate of the Social Democratic Front, John Fru Ndi, is now seen as the only candidate touring all 10 regions of the West African nation. Fru Ndi accused Biya of planning to rig the election.

Another opposition candidate, Paul Ayah Abine, pointed to the uneven distribution of government campaign money to political parties. He said Biya’s party has nearly 20 billion central African francs (about $40 million) while the other 22 candidates have less than 1 billion.

A leading campaigner for Biya, Atanga Nji Paul, Sunday told a rally in the Northwest region that all other parties are poor and wretched.

Some observers say Biya’s supporters are buying people’s votes with money.

A young Cameroonian, Bertin Kisob, whose candidacy was rejected by Elections Cameroon, is calling on youth to take to the streets in a violent protest. Last week he claimed responsibility for being behind a gun battle in the Wouri area of Douala that lasted hours.

Kisob told CNN he is ready to disrupt the polls and put the regime of the dictator to an end.

“There can never be free and fair elections in this country. If so, we could have seen the change in 2007,” he said.

Source: CNN

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