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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Presidential 2018: the winners and losers of the poll

The unfolding of the campaign helped to reshape the political cards with the emergence of new heavyweights and the decay of the historical movements of the opposition. 

If there is one who does not doubt for a moment his chances of victory at the end of the election last Sunday, it is him, Paul Biya. The candidate of the Rassemblement démocratique du Peuple Camerounais (Rdpc) surfed on "the strength of experience". A "strength" and "experience" that the ruling party caciques put forward throughout the campaign. Because, Paul Biya, it's 36 years of reign supreme. Paul Biya is also six consecutive presidential elections (1984, 1988, 1992, 1997, 2004 and 2011).

Enough for many experts to give him the winner of a seventh term as President of the Republic. The tenant of Etoudi, they say, has everything (or almost) to win: an indisputable popularity; stature; the control by his party of almost all the districts of the country; activists (voters) located throughout the national territory;government ministers who wetted the jersey to assure him a "100%" of success in their respective hometowns; a team that masters the workings of Cameroonian politics, powerful and organized; a party that has not skimped on the financial means and mobilization ...

And an opposition which did not know how to constitute a coalition to eight against one. However, if there are presidents whose words are rare, Paul Biya is one of them. Miser in speech, he spoke in public only once, in Maroua, during the campaign, playing the card of the "father of the Cameroonian unit".

"The story of Cameroon is not that of brothers and sisters tearing each other apart but of a family that remains united in prosperity. So when we talk about Cameroon, our Cameroon, the cradle of our ancestors, the best choice will always be the choice of stability, Paul Biya ", it was abundantly heard, in a campaign clip broadcast on social networks .

In this clip, the Rdpc champion has been presented as "the compass that knows how to lead" and with whom "democracy is assured" because its "achievements are everywhere" across the country. In this regard, his supporters mention, among other things, the construction of roads, hydroelectric dams and other development infrastructure to enable Cameroon "to be an emerging country by 2035".

So many feats of fact that "all Cameroonians are behind him," notes the clip, pointing out that Biya is this man who "reassures", "the gentleman", "the experience", "the leader who knows listen "and that embodies" national unity ". Aged 85 today, Paul Biya promoter of "Renewal" whose pillars are the "rigor and moralization of behavior," still hopes for a seven-year term "to complete the work he started at the head of the country "proclaims its supporters.

Akere - Kamto: the strength of the coalition

"Only we go faster, together we go further".They waited for the last 36 hours of the presidential campaign to apply this African proverb. It was on October 5 that Akere Muna announced that he was withdrawing from the presidential race in favor of Maurice Kamto, with whom he formed a coalition.

Because he found "that a vast majority of the Cameroonian population wishes to elect a new president who will put an end to their sufferings and their misery", and having recognized "that a coalition is needed to save this country and that without a real coalition of the main candidates who oppose the retention of Paul Biya, there can be no change in the governance of Cameroon", "Akere Muna agrees to withdraw his candidacy for the presidency of the Republic (...) and support Maurice Kamto, "reads the statement released Friday night.

The two men, who had been negotiating for several months, met for the last time in person that day in Garoua, in the northern region, where they were both in the field.Right away, the opinion exults. The news has been well received on social networks, and many Cameroonians are quick to announce that they will vote for the coalition candidate.

Cabral Libii: the strength of the mobilization

It is Paul Biya himself who said it in his speech to the youth, on February 10, 2017. That day, the outgoing head of state invited young people to "Dare" to "show boldness and initiative". If anyone understands it, Cabral Libii is one of them.The candidate of the party Universe dared, at 38 years only, to run in the presidential election last Sunday. It did not take much elsewhere for the youngest of this election to seduce a large section of Cameroonians: young people. For many, his name resonates with "hope" and "desire for a better future". Moreover, some people see themselves in him.

It is that over the days, Cabral Libii has inspired many young people, a certain assurance, a guarantee of change and victory. To the point of succeeding to embody the dream that everything is (still) possible for this youth. With a campaign that surprised many, this former political analyst has proved successful with the operation "11 million" registered voters. An operation that had the merit of having convinced many young people to register and fulfill their duty as citizens by going to vote last Sunday.

But where the candidate of the party Universe is also illustrated, it is through its mobilizing force, during the campaign period. Each of his meetings had the art of gathering tens of thousands of people. As was the case on September 23rd. It is a real human tide that welcomed him at the stadium Cicam Douala. This former political analyst was first banned from holding the rally, before the administrative authority reconsidered his decision and allowed him to hold the rally. Result: a real demonstration of strength that had the merit of annoying within the party in power, the Rdpc.

"I hear that it is unheard of Cameroon to see such a mobilization around a person," says Cabral Libii. "I tell myself that the work we have been doing for months is not without effect." If he now embodies a form of threat for some political parties, observers are convinced that he will play a big role in the Cameroonian political environment for the next seven years.

Source: Current Challenges No 335