Cameroon: CPDM Flexes Muscles as SDF Plays Catch Up in NW Senate Race
By Boris Esono Nwenfor
BUEA, March 6 – The Cameroon Peoples Democratic Movement, CPDM, Party, the ruling political party in the country and their long-time rival, the Social Democratic Front, SDF, Party, prepare to battle once more in the troubled North West Region as the senatorial election is on the horizon.
Only the CPDM and the SDF political parties are contesting in the North West Region. This year’s senatorial election will take place on March 12, 2023, across the country as only regional and municipal councillors, and mayors are eligible to vote.
Once hailed as the most dominant opposition party in Cameroon, the SDF Party is currently in ‘turmoil” after the party’s Chairman Ni John Fru Ndi invoked section 8.2, dismissing some 34 members including the vibrant Nintcheu for what he described as “their assault on the part and its hierarchy, their anti-party activities with a clear indication to discredit party effectiveness, injure the reputation and the interests of the party.”
The North West and South West Regions that were a bastion for the SDF party have almost completely gone with the SDF Party struggling in the South West. In the upcoming senatorial election, the party is not even on the list, with the CPDM Party having won in this part of the country as they are the lone party contesting the election.
No election is won before the time
Despite being disadvantaged, the SDF Party is still buoyant about its prospects in the North West. The party’s candidates hinged on the fact that no election is won before time and that they are ready to battle the CPDM on polling day. Several promises have been made by the party to cajole voters.
The SDF candidates said they will advocate for the allocation of at least one billion francs CFA per council every fiscal year, the Observer237 reported. Senator Vanigansen MoChiggle said 15 per cent of the state budget is supposed to be decentralized to the 374 councils in the country and instead to go looking for other ways, simply allocate a billion francs for each council.
The Anglophone crisis has greatly affected the power of the SDF Party in the English-speaking regions, with the party struggling to galvanize the strong base it used to have before the crisis.
The SDF Senators added that they will also advocate for monthly allowances and emoluments to municipal and Regional Councilors to permit them effectively carry out their functions.
Winning on March 12 will be the icing on the cake – Philemon Yang
Former Prime Minister, Philemon Yang, Coordinator of the North West CPDM Central Committee, called for the strict respect of the electoral laws of the country and the internal organizational text from the Secretary General of the CPDM Central Committee, as he launched a campaign in Bamenda.
“The campaigns must be methodical and void of improvisation. Municipal and Regional Councillors are part of the campaign teams and should facilitate the work of team heads,’ Philemon Yang told the members of the electoral college.
“You must respect the guidelines of the CPDM and avoid any form of provocation. Be optimistic and determined so we emerge victorious on March 12. Act peacefully anywhere you find yourself.”
“Winning on 12 March will be the icing on the cake… We have to work hard and win by respecting the rules and regulations of the elections. Also, respect the party guidelines,” Philemon Yang added.
“Every election is a risky exercise for the CPDM and her militants. Do not act as if you have won the election already… The senatorial election is about our future because we must promote peace, especially in this region.”