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Monday, September 24, 2018

Election campaign: Paul Biya has still rolled his opponents

The "kick-off" of the electoral campaign was given yesterday to "Biyaroun", sorry, in Cameroon by the commission in charge of the organization of the presidential election scheduled for October 7th.

These are 9 candidates in total, who will go, in theory at least, to meet the 7 million Cameroonians registered on the electoral rolls, but it is only one who will win and this, in the first round, the the ballot being a first-past-the-post majority.

Among the contenders for the supreme office, there is obviously the irremovable candidate for his own succession, Paul Biya, but there is also Joshua Osih of the Social Democratic Front, Cabral libii whose candidature is carried by the National Union for the integration to solidarity, Akere Muna, former global vice president of Transparency International, not forgetting the patriarch and eternal 'looser', Adamou Ndam Njoya who had participated in the last three elections and had lost all of them to the current President.

This year again, with, or rather because of the multitude of candidates from the so-called opposition parties, we will attend an election without major issue, since it will certainly be "Biya against Biya", as it has always been the case since the accession to power of the current head of state on 4 November 1982. And it will unfortunately be so, as long as the Cameroonians will accommodate this valetudinaire president, more visible in the corridors of the Intercontinental hotel in Geneva than Etoudi's presidential palace and which presided over the council of ministers only a dozen times in 36 years of reign. One wonders legitimately how, under these conditions, he manages to manage this country "riddled" of intellectuals of high flight, quick to go down in flames the megalomaniac and authoritarian heads of state of the other countries.

Cameroon is a genuine democratic curiosity

Is it because it is magnanimous towards those who could ogle its throne, or on the contrary, because it is particularly cruel to them? Is he an outstanding manipulator of men or simply a man of consensus, who knows how to listen and act in the best interests of Cameroon? There is probably a meticulous dosage of all this, and this sulphurous cocktail is enough to annihilate a political opposition very prone to all sorts of sordid haggling, just to satisfy selfish and financial interests. As a result, President Biya is still going and almost freewheeling to extend his lease of 7 long years at the end of which he will celebrate, if God continues to give him life, his 92 years well run.

This is, whatever happens, waste for this great country that is Cameroon, and it is all the more regrettable that young leaders with innovative speeches like Cabral Libii and Joshua Osih, will be rolled by a Paul Biya omnipotent and Jupiterian, who dreams of dying while still having the trinkets of power across the shoulder, thanks to the active or passive complicity of legitimate and fatalist voters. However, Cameroon deserves better than that, and it may take a Copernican revolution to finally see the advent of a new race of lucid, courageous and honest politicians, able to face the new and many challenges , as the securing of the north-west regions of the country under attack by Islamists Boko Haram, northwest and southwest where life is punctuated, since last October, by attacks on the Molotov cocktail and the bomb, attributed to English-speaking separatists. It is therefore the national unity of the country that is more than ever jeopardized, and the arguments will not fail the other candidates to tackle the insatiable Biya during the current election campaign.

But here, the thirst for alternation of Cameroonians could not overcome the oversized ego of opposition candidates, and it is in scattered ranks and with almost no chances to win, that the latter will still conquering state power, much to the delight of the world's oldest incumbent head of state, after Tunisia's Beji Caïd Essebsi (92) and Kuwaiti Cheick Sabah Al Ahmad (89). It only remains to wish good end of reign ... for life to Paul Biya who will not even bother to beat campaign or address the voters.

On these two points, Biya has negroes of service who show a zeal out of the ordinary. From this angle, Cameroon is a true democratic curiosity, the only country in Africa, where the head of state, which officially enjoys a good eye, does not leave the cozy environment of the presidential palace to beat campaign and s address to electors by proxy. Sacred Cameroon!

Reporter: Hamadou GADIAGA