Experts Blame Cameroonians Over Country’s ‘Failed’ Democracy

A crowd of supporters of the leader of the Cameroonian opposition party Movement for the Rebirth of Cameroon (MRC) attend an electoral campaign rally on September 30, 2018, prior to the October 7 national vote. (Photo by MARCO LONGARI / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARCO LONGARI/AFP/Getty Images)

Yaounde (National Times)-Renowned experts from different walks of life say  Cameroonians are to blame for the shortcomings  of the country’s democratic process. The observations surfaced Friday April 12 during a debate staged at the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES)  in Yaounde.

Participants at the debate included people of all walks of life. A panel of three experts, including Barrister Claude Assira, Professor Claude Abe of the Catholic University of Central Africa, and Dr Hilaire Kamga, an activist. Jean Takougang, politician and teacher, was the moderator.

Panellists used the Cameroon Renaissance Movement (CRM) political party crisis, the lingering Anglophone crisis and other challenges facing the country to substantiate arguments.

According to Barrister Claude Assira, “The people of Cameroon are the spectators of their very own destiny. When you need them, they disappear.”

Professor Claude Abe  said Maurice Kamto, leader of the MRC has remained in detention “because there is barely anybody behind him. If the masses were with him, he would have been released. Remember what happened in 1990. Not even the guns could stifle the people.”

Activist Dr Hilaire Kamga explained that , no revolution with intention to enable an individual or political party access power has ever succeeded across the globe.

Panelists were unanimous that, the masses need the support of the military to successfully influence any dictatorship. The cases of Sudan and Algeria, where the military intervene to oust ‘dictators’ were cited.

On the independence of  the judiciary in Cameroon, participants  averred that, it is impossible to talk of impartiality when Judges and Magistrates are appointed and promoted by the Executive. Some opined that, “ as long as magistrates continue to buy their way into ENAM with money or social class, impartiality remains an illusion”.

In his closing remarks, the resident Representative of FES in Cameroon and Central Africa, Friedrich Kramme-Stermose added that he was in Senegal in 2014 and saw how the people took to the streets and fetched change.

FES (Friedrich Ebert Stiftung) is a German political foundation, established in 1925 as a legacy of Friedrich Ebert, the first democratically elected President in Germany. It is out to promote democracy, political education and encourage students of outstanding intellectual abilities and personality. It has offices and projects in more than 100 nations.

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