Senatorial Election:SDF To Field Candidates In Ten Regions
By Yerima Kini Nsom
CameroonPostline.com — SDF National Chairman, John Fru Ndi has said the party will field candidates in all ten regions of the country for Senatorial elections on April 14. Fru Ndi, who had initially said the party would disrupt the election, changed his mind after meeting the Chief of Cabinet at the Presidency of the Republic, Belinga Eboutou, on March 7. The party had urged that legislative elections be convened before Senatorial election. Fru Ndi admitted to journalists in Yaounde that after meeting with Belinga Eboutou, President Paul Biya’s envoy, the SDF would field candidates in the ten regions.
“Looking at the senatorial elections which will result in putting in place of the Upper House of Parliament, we have discussed not only at the level with Mr. Biya , but also at the level of the party and we have come to the conclusion that we should participate irrespective of all what is happening,” he stated.
Fru Ndi reiterated his promise to run for the elections, stating that the SDF Investiture Committee was going to work to ensure the SDF presents the best candidates for the election.
Fru Ndi appealed to electorates to vote according to their consciences and that the SDF is right in all approaches. For his part, Hon. Joseph Mbah Ndam, SDF Legal Adviser, said the SDF’s decision to run for the senatorial elections was in the supreme interest of the Cameroonian people.
Asked what they discussed with President Biya’s emissary, Mbah Ndam said: “It was a cordial discussion and we reviewed matters concerning the elections of senators. The Chairman still stressed the fact that this election was inopportune to have been convened at this point in time. But we have concluded that the setting up of the agenda of elections in Cameroon is the prerogative of the President of the Republic and that we have argued, showing how this was not proper.
Since the President of the Republic had already convened the electorate, we had to be realistic that the elections would take place. We had all assurances that they would make these elections free, fair and transparent.” However, critical observers have criticized the SDF’s lack of consistency. Civil society activist, Richard Ndi condemned SDF’s resolve to run for the elections. “I think it is useless to go in for an election that will not bring any change,” he said.
He said the CPDM got a majority of councilors in 2007 through fraud and that for such councilors to be made to vote the Senate is an anti-democratic insult on Cameroonians. He said any party going in for the April 14 polls will do nothing more than accompany the CPDM to have its crushing victory. While reacting to SDF decision to go in for the election, Political Scientist and Varsity Don, Dr. Norbert Suh I Fru, said the party was consistent with its policy of boycott threat that always leads to participation.
“The SDF has participated in building the country’s democratic institutions. There is no reason for them not to participate in putting in place the senate,” he told The Post. He added: “SDF maybe inconsistent, but it is productive inconsistently”. To him, the SDF decision to run is in rhythm with the present political dispensation in Cameroon.
First published in The Post print edition no 01415