The Director of National Head Quarters of the National Union for Democracy and Progress (NUDP) party has opined that no opposition coalition can oust Paul Biya because the laws are already formulated to give him victory even before voting is done.
He contended that it is a waste of time to challenge Paul Biya with such obnoxious laws. In an exclusive interview The National Times, Kuma Peter Kombain, talked about the upcoming elections and also the conditions under which his party endorsed Biya’s Presidential bid, Read on.
The National Times: Mr Kuma thanks for accepting to talk to us. Why did your party, the NUDP decided to back Paul Biya as its Presidential candidate, rather than presenting its own candidate?
Kuma Peter: We gave our votes to Mr Biya based on the Government Action Platform (GAP) the NUDP signed with the CPDM on November 23, 1997 and as of now GAP is not obsolete.
Can you enlighten us about this GAP?
The GAP was a packed signed between the NUDP and the CPDM to foster democracy and development in Cameroon. We proposed on the GAP that the Electoral Code should be revised and it’s thanks to our party that we moved from ONEL I to ONEL II and now ELECAM. But we are still working to have something better than this. For example we want members of ELECAM to be designated by political parties, civil society and not appointed by the President of the Republic. We also want single ballot vote so that it would be impossible to ask voters to bring back ballot papers of other parties in exchange of money; we are the only country in Africa without such a system. Moreover, the distribution of Members of Parliament is not even; each division should form a constituency.
On the GAP we also proposed an electoral quarter; a percentage of the votes cast that should entitled a party to a particular number of seats or councillors. For example, if you have 50+1 percent of the vote cast and another person 49 percent vote cast the number of seats should be equitably distributed according to these percentages. We also wanted to create a joint economic mechanism with the CPDM for economic growth. These are just some of the points, there are still many others, but it’s just unfortunate that most of these points on the GAP have not been respected.
Since you argue that most of the points on the GAP have not been respected, why
We are supporting and giving Mr Biya our votes for the upcoming elections because he has created much trouble in Cameroon and he should be left to solve them before he goes. You cannot create a problem and you expect me to come and solve it, let him fix what he has spoiled. Look at what is happening in the North West and South West Regions, it’s terrible. We are giving him our votes based on one principal condition; that he should solve the Anglophone Crisis before he leaves.
For two years now the conflict has been dragging on and it seems all Governmental strategies are not working, do you still think Paul Biya can invent a new strategy?
We have proposed genuine dialogue with all even with the secessionist because you make peace by talking to them. We have also proposed effective decentralisation and the post of Government Delegate should be scrapped out so that Councils are allowed to manage their affairs by themselves and not by somebody appointed by Yaoundé. And when dialogue is called, the NUDP would be ready to bring in its own contribution. I would also seize this opportunity to extend our condolences to the people of the North West and the South West Regions for what they are going through.
So based on that your party would not be presenting a candidate for the upcoming presidential election?
We know that we will not win if we go in for the elections. Even if all the opposition parties in Cameroon come together they cannot defeat Mr Biya because the laws have already given him victory before voting is done.
Have you presented these worries to Paul Biya especially the condition for him to solve the Anglophone conflict?
Yes, we held a meeting in our party and we drafted a document which was endorsed and signed by our party Chairman, Mr Bello Bouba Maigari and we have duly served the CPDM the document with the annexes.