Words and the presence of the Secretary General in Bamenda on March 19, ahead of the Sunday polls could push the party to victory again.
Before the scribe of the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement Party moved to the Northwest region – where the Constitutional Council had ordered a rerun of legislative elections in 11 constituencies; rumours had given victory to the Social Democratic Front – one time main opposition party in that region. In the last legislative elections, the SDF won 11 of the 12 parliamentary seats in constituencies where the rerun took place on Sunday – except Momo West, where the CPDM won a seat in 2013.
The CPDM won all the seats where the Court cancelled elections. A fall in the party’s fief and only five seats in the rest of the country flattened the SDF at the National Assembly. The party that was used to having a parliamentary group is without one. Rumours of a possible ‘donation’ of the 12 seats in the Northwest Region ensued as soon as the Court asked for a rerun. Militants of the CPDM who had worked and walked through bullets and threats in the Northwest to fetch a victory for the ruling party were upset. Hopes of flushing the SDF; accused of a ‘secret’ romance with the separatist rebels were dashed.
A disclaimer from Yang Philemon, Head of the CPDM Permanent Regional Delegation for the Northwest did not seem enough. Party hierarchy had assured local officials of the CPDM at a meeting in Yaounde on March 12 that there was no such “deal” with the opposition.
In the hall at Ayaba Hotel where less than 50 militants had gathered – respecting the restrictions taken by government to prevent the spread of the COVID-19, Jean Nkuété was unequivocal. There is “no negotiation, no deal with whosoever,” the SG said. “It is a lie. We cannot give our victory as a gift to our opponent,” he added. At this moment Dr Asheri Kilo, Head of the CPDM campaign team for Bui, intoned a rallying song.
Jean Nkuété drove to the region despite the shaky security situation in the region and the Coronavirus scare. He risked everything and refused to jump into an armoured car in Mbouda, a border town with the Northwest region – military escorted him to Bamenda. He brought along ‘campaign bullets’ to “support” the campaigners, Jean- Fabien Monkam, Adviser at the General Secretariat announced during the meeting.
Jude Viban, Special Envoy