By Tata Mbunwe
The ruling Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (CPDM) party has challenged municipal councillors in the Southwest, elected under the party’s banner, to ‘vote massively’ at the December 6 Regional Elections.
The party’s Southwest Regional Campaign Chief, Peter Mafany Musonge, launched campaigns in Buea on Saturday, November 21, also urging militants to utilise various media platforms for upcoming campaigns.
The campaigns will be taking place amid unfettering violence in the Northwest and Southwest, despite a Special Status granted the regions during a Major National Dialogue last year.
“We are going to have the Regional Assembly and a House of Chiefs which are important aspects of the Special Status and so they should help us realise it by voting massively on that day,” said campaign Manager and former PM, Peter Mafany Musonge.
At the Buea Bongo Square where the Regional campaigns were launched, scores of CPDM militants were enthusiastic and seemed undisturbed about any possible security challenges during the elections.
According to the Mayor of Buea, David Mafany Namange, the Municipality is prepared for campaigns and CPDM councillors in the Municipality should support the CPDM Central Committee by voting massively.
He said the launching ceremony has “fortified” militants for upcoming political challenges.
The first Regional Elections may, however, not be very challenging for the ruling CPDM especially as the two main opposition SDF and CRM parties are boycotting the elections.
This will enable the party to claim remaining Councils especially in the Northwest region (where the SDF party is most powerful) as the CPDM already won majority of councils in the region for the first time during last February’s elections.
The CPDM claimed more than 60 percent of Municipal seats nationwide in February’s Municipal and Legislative Elections, winning all councils in eight divisions of the Centre Region and 32 councils out of 33 in the East region.
Since the 1992 Presidential Elections, the opposition has often accused the ruling CPDM of rigging most elections, including the 2018 Presidential Elections, to keep long-serving President Paul Biya’s regime in power.
In January 2019, opposition CRM leader, Maurice Kamto, launched a nationwide protest against results of the 2018 elections which he claimed was rigged in favour of the CPDM.
Many political actors in the country are seeking more decentralisation of power and that local authorities should be able to take decisions for their people and not follow long protocols.
This is the case of the Northwest and Southwest regions where the quest for more autonomy has plunged the regions into a crisis lasting four years now.
The Regional Elections is an outcome of the 2019 Major National Dialogue that was meant to discuss the crisis in the Northwest and Southwest regions.
Government says Regional Councils will ensure more decentralisation and will help each region to deliberate and manage its own developmental affairs.
However, appointed regional Governors will remain in place and will supervise activities of the elected regional council, said Isaac Mbua Embola of the Ministry Decentralisation and Local Affairs.
“We are in the last phase of the decentralisation process and the elections of 6 December is the highlight of the process,” Musonge said while launching election campaigns.
Mimi Mefo Info