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

Fru Ndi Reshuffles Shadow Cabinet.

February 21, 2013 § Leave a comment

The Chairman of the SDF, Ni John Fru Ndi, has reshuffled the Shadow Cabinet of the party, with about 85 percent of Ministers and Vices being new comers. This was done at the end of the National Executive Committee (NEC), of the SDF meeting in Bamenda over the weekend.

The greatest casualty of the shake up is Madam Chantal Kambiwa, who was dropped from her position as Chairperson of Gender Issues. The position has been modified to Gender Issues and The Physically Challenged, now headed by Miss Judith Zama. Meanwhile, old names like Hon Cyprian Awudu Mbaya was maintained as Chairperson of Foreign Affairs, and Legal and Judicial Affairs by Prof. Kofele Kale.

Other members of the new shadow cabinet are:

  • Agriculture and Rural Development, Chairperson: Mathias Ofon,
  • Defence and National Security: Colonel Chi Ngafor,
  • Economy, Finance and Commerce, Chairperson: Evariste Fopoussi,
  • Education and Training, Chairperson: Jean Takoungang,
  • Health, Chairperson: Prof Joseph Nelson Fomulu,
  • Information and the Media, Chairperson: Jean Robert Wafo,
  • Industrial Development, Chairperson: Jean Claude Kuete,
  • Internal Affairs, Chairperson: Mochiggle Vanigansen,
  • Posts and Telecommunications, Chairperson: Chief Paul Nji Tumasang,
  • Science and Technology, Chairperson: Gabriel Wato,
  • Social Affairs, Sports and Youth Development, Chairperson: Prof. Paul Kwi,
  • Tourism and Culture, Chairperson: Ebelle Din Dobel,
  • Public Works and Transport, Chairperson: Johnas Achah Mbah,
  • Mining, Water and Energy, Chairperson: Alexander Mulango Forteh,
  • Urban Development and Housing, Chairperson: Prof. Ajaga Nji.

Source: 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

 

Cameroon: $62m in funds lost.

November 11, 2011 § Leave a comment

A corruption watchdog in Cameroon found that 45 million euros ($62 million) have either been lost or embezzled after an investigation into government funds in the country,according to AFP.

The report was obtained by the news agency Friday from the National Anti-Corruption Commission (Conac), an anti-graft body created by Cameroon’s President Paul Biya in 2006.

The report is based on Conac’s probes into the government in 2009, and it revealed great sums of money lost from the public works ministry, the general treasury and the maize industry.

“The budgetary resources the state invests in road building would be enough to build three times as many roads” if corruption were eradicated, the report said, according to AFP.

Biya, who started an anti-corruption campaign called Operation Sparrowhawk in 2006, was sworn in last week for a sixth term as president. Both the US and France said the elections were marred by widespread irregularities, BBC reported.  Biya had won the election with 78 percent of the vote.

Biya’s rule in Cameroon has been heavily criticized by opponents as corrupt and authoritarian, though Biya denies the charges.

International corruption watchdogs, like Transparency International, name Cameroon as one of the world’s most corrupt states. The watchdog ranked the country as the 32nd most corrupt country in 2010.  Somalia took the No. 1 spot in the same report.

Source

Paul Biya’s Re-election: A CRTV Perspective

November 8, 2011 § Leave a comment

Paul Biya has been re-elected for another 7-year-term as President of Cameroon, according results published by the Supreme Court (sitting in lieu of the Constitutional Council) on Friday 21 Oct 2011. He won 77.98 percent of the votes cast.

After the proclamation of the results, George Ewane, the correspondent who covers presidential affairs for the country’s government-run broadcaster (CRTV), analysed the electoral process for viewers of the national newscast (see video below).

He spoke about the transparency of the poll and the “Yaounde Declaration” by seven opposition candidates who want the poll to be annulled.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Source

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Cameroon policemen on poll duty killed at a Polling Station

October 10, 2011 § 4 Comments

Two killed in unstable Bakassi region while securing presidential election expected to be won by incumbent Paul Biya.

Two military policemen were killed in the unstable southwestern Bakassi region of Cameroon while securing presidential elections there, the government has said.

They were killed on Sunday by “armed men who have not yet been identified” in Isanguele district, Marafa Hamidu Yaya, the interior minister, told reporters as votes were being counted across the country.

“These brave elements of our security forces were on a mission to secure the electoral process,” the minister said. “All steps are being taken to find and apprehend their killers.”

Several groups, often armed, operate in the coastal Bakassi peninsula, carrying out assaults and kidnappings the authorities blame on pirates.

About seven million Cameroonians were eligible to vote for a president on Sunday with incumbent Paul Biya almost assured of extending his 29-year rule amid signs of apathy in a ballot the opposition termed a “mess”.

Earlier in the day, voters faced delays and organisational shortfalls in parts of the country.

Biya, 78, is viewed as keeping his place among the clutch of African leaders in power for decades. And rivals had alleged the vote was skewed against them.

There were no official turnout figures but voting appeared sluggish in the capital Yaounde.

Foregone conclusion

Many Cameroonians appeared indifferent to the election campaign, feeling the vote was a foregone conclusion.

Results could take days to emerge.

Election observers said voting was peaceful but cited delays at some polling stations and irregularities such as some voters being allowed to jump the queue.

After voting ended, a Reuters reporter in Yaounde saw 19 polling stations where ballots were being counted without the required presence of candidates’ representatives.

“Some polling stations opened late, some appeared unclear on the rules about how votes are cast,” Commonwealth observer mission leader Frederick Mitchell said by telephone.

Biya’s main rival, John Fru Ndi of the Social Democratic Front (SDF), said a surplus of voting slips meant some had voted twice in certain parts of the country and said election body Elecam would be blamed for the “disorder and confusion”.

Casting his vote in Yaounde, Biya asked for patience.  “It [Elecam] is a young organisation … I’m just asking
that there should be indulgence in any eventual imperfection. There was no intention to fraud,” he said.

Biya faces 22 candidates including Fru Ndi, and Adamou Ndam Njoya of the Cameroon Democratic Union (UDC).

In the last election in 2004, Biya scored just over 70 per cent, while his closest rival Ndi took 17 per cent.

Source: Al Jazeera

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.

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