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Vested interest, mutual suspicion killing opposition coalition ahead of election

Barely one month to the October 7 Presidential election, the much heralded opposition coalition to confront Cameroon’s incumbent President, Paul Biya, and possibly swept him out of the Unity Palace is still to materialise.

No unique candidate is being envisaged by the opposition political party leaders.

9 Presidential Candidates

Shortly after the publication of the list of nine candidates for the October 7 Presidential poll, one of the candidates, Cabral Libii of the UNIVERS party came out strongly, making a case for a unique opposition candidate.

He proposed that all eight opposition party candidates should meet in a confab and through a secret ballot system vote a unique candidate.

Libii suggested that during the conclave, no candidate is expected to vote for himself.

His procedure was heavily criticised by CRM candidate, Maurice Kamto, who argued that he is for a unique candidate, but that certain modalities should be put into place especially the person’s programme.

According to him, the secret ballot system to choose a unique candidate would not render justice to the best candidate.

On his part, Joshua Osih, who is leader of the main opposition party, also called for a unique candidate. However, with the popularity the SDF is enjoying over other opposition parties, the party seemed not to go for anything that would not give the pride of place to their candidate.

The idea of a unique opposition party candidate has mostly been projected by new comers in the race to the Presidency. Old folks like Adamou Ndam Njoya of the CDU party and Garga Haman Adji of ADD have not bothered to give the idea any preference, probably out of their past experiences in a similar arrangement.

Ndam Njoya vividly remembers how he was discredited by Fru Ndi of SDF in 2004, when it emerged that he was chosen by a coalition of opposition parties under the banner of the National Coalition for reconstruction and development.

In the meantime, all the eight opposition party candidates are strategizing and wooing Cameroonians at home and abroad to give them their votes.

With every candidate seeing himself as the harbinger of the messianic solution to save Cameroon, it seems impossible for these candidates to congregate under a single canopy. However, as they face the robust machinery of the CPDM and the imposing and mythical character of Paul Biya which has taken hostage of both the administration and security services, it would be another “David vs Goliath” encounter come October 7.

Moreover, with Biya’s personality becoming an ideology for some who have never imagine life without him, no magnitude of sacrificial action would be left unperformed by these group of persons to keep their common deity on the throne.


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