Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Election 2018: the opposition prepares the victory of Paul Biya


Should the Democratic Rally of the Cameroonian People (CPDM), the party in power, be worried that its champion will not be re-elected to the Supreme Judiciary on the evening of 7 October? Absolutely not. At least, as things stand now. Except for a miracle, the opposition, taken individually, is certain to suffer a bitter failure at this great rendezvous, but still goes in scattered ranks. The negotiations for a consensual candidacy - if not a single candidacy - between the 8 challengers of Paul Biya, stumbled on the selfishness and primary individualism of each other. No attempt at mediation in the sense of any consensus between the eight opponents of the strong man of Yaoundé has prospered.

Solicited last August to lead the negotiations for a consensual candidacy of the opposition, Jean Jacques Ekindi and Pierre Kwemo have gently let the wind of this solicitation pass. The proof is that the first national coordinator of the Progressive Movement (MP), told the media on September 20, never having Pierre Kwemo on the phone, or meeting him. Who avoided the other? Hard to know. However, we know that the "lion hunter" decided to abandon the hunt: Jean Jacques Ekindi supports Paul Biya, "after all his views, measured, thought and weighed". Former high executive of the CPDM, the lion hunter of Mvomeka'a simply comes home. Additional support for Paul Biya, who already counts among his allies, the G20, the G35 and associations of mototaxis.'

Solitary horsemen

Side opposition meanwhile, a rally of great scope struggles to emerge. Each one of them is convinced of being the providential man and the best alternative on which the other candidacies should imperatively be grafted. Only a few "naïve", at first sight well intentioned, still believe in it, but have not yet found the magic formula to put Paul Biya's competitors in the Supreme Judiciary around a globalized and more effective strategy of conquest. In reality, neither Joshua Osih, Maurice Kamto, Akere Muna nor Cabral Libii and the rest, none of the said candidates can individually overcome Paul Biya in the polls of this presidential election.

It should be emphasized, the tenant of Etoudi has a political apparatus (the RDPC) ultra dominant and territorially well established in almost all corners of the country. The CPDM has a large majority, both in the National Assembly, in the Senate, and in the municipal councils of the national triangle. To this must be added the State's logistical and material means, graciously made available to the lieutenants of the party with the burning torch during the electoral campaigns, sometimes leading to disconcerting confusion between the CPDM and the State.

In view of the above, it goes without saying that the political and material balance of power is largely against a sparse and structurally approximate opposition. Opponents are fully aware of this, but are desperately trying to sell some support and alliances with little electoral impact, which do not represent much on the national political scene.

What good is it for Akere Muna, for example, to rejoice in the support of a dissident faction of Manidem, a formation undermined by internal quarrels and unfit for genuine popular mobilization? Or, what electoral weight can the unpopular party of Paul Eric Kingue boast about, so that the MRC of Kamto -certes joined by the brilliant economist Christian Penda Ekoka and six other territorially under-implanted political formations- rejoice? Ten days before the election, the doubts disappear. If the single candidacy is now a myth, the consensual candidate, as for it, is a big snake of the sea, which swims away, but then, very far from the banks.

The impossible consensus

All in all, it is still light years away from 1992, when the "Union for Change" - a major platform of political parties and civil society - had supported and supported the candidacy of the Social Democratic Party's Ni John Fru Ndi. Front (SDF). This politically consistent and representative support had generated anointing, infatuation and popular support. All that then allowed the SDF candidate to officially lose against Paul Biya, beyond the divisions and subjective and theatrical considerations of the genre: "it is the river that flows into the river ... taxi to hang on to the Truck etc. " A combination of efforts and means would have produced a less certain outcome than that looming on the horizon. Alas!

The reign of political adventurism, leaning on small personal calculations disconnected from realities in total dephasing with the aspirations of a large section of the population, has taken over. Everyone wants to be the Super Man in a recurring rhetoric: "We remain open to all who want to join us". Who will join who? That is to say that Elimbi Lobe and Hilaire Nzipan - if they are not yet exhausted and discouraged - still have a way to go to find this famous consensual candidate among the eight opponents, despite the relevance of the technical demonstrations and figures of these two opinion leaders.

Columnist: Njiki Fandono