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Cameroon: English Bloggers Analyze Cameroon Elections 2011

This page is part of our special coverage Cameroon Elections 2011.

The 2011 presidential election in the Republic of Cameroon will take place on October 9, 2011. This is a roundup of posts written by Cameroonian English bloggers about the elections.

ntemfacofege says that incumbent President Paul Biya uses money to entice corrupt politicians:

The Biya regime is enticing equally corrupt politicians with a cash-handout, or bait, of 25.000.000FCFA from the state coffers to present a challenge to his candidacy.
There are now 23 candidates now running. Each candidate pays in 5.000.000FCFA to the state treasury.
All the candidates have to do is rush to the nearing bank, microfinance hourse, credit union or whatever and demand a short term loan of 5.000.000FCFA.
They they collect 25.000.000 from the state; payback their short-term loan and report a profit of at least 15.000.000.
For less than three weeks of work.
Small wonder Cameroon has several times been voted most corrupt country on earth.
With Mr. Paul Biya presiding.

Francis Wache notes that this year's election will be the last for opposition candidate John Fru Ndi. He thinks that it would be best for Ndi to form a coalition with other parties:

Mr Ni John Fru Ndi is, incontestably, the leader of Cameroon’s opposition. He leads the Social Democratic Front, SDF, Cameroon’s indisputable frontline opposition party. Other serious so-called opposition parties have either petered out or joined ranks, in return for ministerial lollipops, with the ruling Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement, CPDM.

This year’s presidential election will be the last for Fru Ndi. He said so himself. That is why he must give it all it takes. But, Fru Ndi, in giving his best, must also bring along like-minded political parties. It would be suicidal for him to go solo.

Cameroonian presidential candidate Kah Walla

Kah Walla, Cameroonian presidential candidate. She is the founder of Cameroon Ô Bosso (Cameroon Let's Go), a civil society organisation supporting free and fair elections. Image source: www.kahwalla.com

Dibussi Tande disagrees. He argues that opposition coalitions in Cameroon are overrated:

1. If the 6 opposition parties that took part in the 1997 presidential election had formed a coalition, they would still have been unable to unseat President Biya with a mere 7.43% of total votes cast.
2. If all of the 15 opposition parties that took part in the 2004 presidential election had formed a coalition, they would still have been unable to unseat Biya with a mere 29.8% of total votes cast.

In short, opposition coalitions are not as important in presidential elections as we tend to believe (1992 being the exception…). Having every political party go it alone may actually be better (in terms of clarifying the political landscape) than creating a coalition of disparate political parties, many of which are moles of the regime in power.

Francis Wache points out that a good number of presidential candidates are jokers:

What is not clear about most of these declared candidates is how they intend to govern Cameroon. In others words, what is their vision? What is their stand on key issues like education, security, health, roads, infrastructure and many others?

A good number of the presidential hopefuls can be referred to, at best, as jokers and buffoons and, at worst, as political scammers. They surface at this moment, register to run with FCFA 5m, then, collect FCFA 60m and nothing else is ever heard about them. That is nothing but reeking opportunism.

Chris Ajua explains how electronic voting can be used to fight election fraud:

The implementation of a simple menu-driven telephone voting system is efficient, and time and cost effective. It permits voters to vote from almost any location where there is a telephone; and it eliminates the need for polling stations and specialized voting equipment. It substantially renders election fraud impotent because of its security features; and enhances the security and safety of the nation and its people before, during and following a peaceful, free and fair election.

If you are interested in social media and politics in Cameroon, read Dibussi Tande's post titled, “2011 Presidential Election: How Candidates Are Navigating the Social Media Landscape”:

One of the most striking novelties of the 2011 presidential election in Cameroon is the impressive number of candidates who have incorporated social media into their campaign strategies, even though the Internet penetration rate in the country is estimated at a mere 5%. Obviously, the target audience are Cameroonians abroad and the international community, and significantly, the international media, which can serve as an echo chamber for candidates and offer the kind widespread and free publicity which regular media outlets in Cameroon cannot – e.g., an interview on the BBC, RFI, and Aljazeera or on TV5.

Dibussi also translates Slate Afrique's interview with Cameroon-born Achille Mbembe, research professor in history and politics at the University of the Witwatersrand, in Johannesburg, South Africa. Achille argues that regime change is not possible through the ballot box:

SlateAfrique: Cameroonians go to the polls on October 9. Can they hope for regime change?

Achille Mbembe Achille Mbembe: Under the current circumstance, regime change is not possible through the ballot box. Change in this country will come through an armed rebellion spearheaded or not by a political organization or by foreign forces (as was the case in Cote d’Ivoire); through the natural death or assassination of the autocrat; or even through a coup de force by dissident elements within the army. Beyond that, all paths to a peaceful change initiated by Cameroonians themselves are blocked. From this perspective, the forthcoming election is a non event.

This page is part of our special coverage Cameroon Elections 2011.

2 comments

  • tihamer64

    I would like to state something about Cameroon and the Government, a known criminal Francis Dooh Collins has actually manipulated Mr. Adolf Mudiki and Mr. Amadou Ali out of usd millions of dollars. Now Mr. Adolf Moudiki and Mr. Amadou Ali are facing charges. This scam by Francis Dooh Collins was put into place two years prior to the elections (which would eventual stain Mr. Amoudi Ali’s chances to run for president). Francis Dooh Collins was explaining to these gentlemen that he was doing these operations with the backing of the United States Government and by performing what was a fraudulent investigation for money, Mr. Collins said he required millions of dollars to perform this operation and subsequently gave to Mr. Amadou Ali and invoice issued from his company registered in Geneva Switzerland under the name of URGIT. Now Mr. Amadou Ali is being investigated, he had no knowledge whatsoever that he was being set up TWO YEARS in advance!!! This was a perfect play by Paul Biya to keep Mr. Ali out of the race.

    Now as for the CEO of SNH, Mr. Adolph Moudiki was another victim of Francis Dooh Collins. Collins had convinced Mr. Moudiki to purchase an floating hotel with his assistance and in cooperation with a shipping company named ABC Maritime of Nyon Switzerland, Collins had arranged the sale of the vessel called the Rio Del Rey. The vessel is indeed working in the Cameroonian waters, however Dooh Collins and ABC Maritime market up the price of the vessel by EURO’s 3,000,000.00 and have also been charging SNH hundreds of thousands of dollars for a so called MANAGEMENT fee, again all a scam. Mr. Adolf Moudiki had no knowledge whatsoever.

    Both of these Gentlemen were doing what they thought was in the interest of their country.

    The above is much more complex, I have the full details and documents, along with the banking details of Mr. Dooh Collins etc.

    However if anyone has any interest please contact me vis a vis facebook.

    Good luck to Cameroon !!

    Robert Horwath

  • Michel Kuinta

    Temfacofege, of all the
    comments made here, yours is the most irrational and amateurish. There is no
    room for speculation in such debates, you need to have proof of what you are
    talking about.

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