Prior to this year’s twin elections, the Social Democratic Front (SDF) party unlike many other opposition parties seemed undecided till the last minute when it decided to run.
While major opposition parties boycotted the process, the SDF went in, braving threats from separatist fighters in the North West and South West regions, its stronghold.
Due to the security situation in the regions, the constitutional council would eventually declare a rerun in some 13 constituencies.
In a statement yesterday, Honorable Joshua Osih, First national Vice President of the party said during the rerun, “eleven constituencies were subject to serious irregularities. The same elements for which the February 9th 2020 polls had been cancelled by the Constitutional Council were reproduced on March 22nd.”
Among them he says was “the transfer and relocation of polling stations to public regrouping centres, once again carried out without the knowledge of the population … non-publication of polling stations before the ballot in the constituencies concerned … Failure to consider the security of voters, while polling stations and ELECAM staff benefited from increased security” and “the impossibility to campaign, since the security promised by ELECAM and the government for the SDF candidates was made available only one the day before polls opened.”
“By stubbornly organizing these reruns of March 22nd at any cost, the government threw our compatriots into the coronavirus slaughterhouse” he proceeds.
Yesterday the constitutional council declared all the constituencies won by the ruling party, a move Osih says confirms “the little esteem this government has for the lives and the democratic rights of the people of the North West and South West regions.”
“While we do not accept this proclamation, we are bound, by virtue of our constitutional responsibilities, to respect it” the statement says.
To Osih, “The SDF was not created for an election, but for the advancement of the wellbeing of the Cameroonian people through the provision of equal opportunities and social justice.”
“We take cognisance of the fact that for two elections in a row, or three considering these reruns, the people of the North West and the South West have been denied their human, democratic and constitutional right to vote” he adds.
As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, Osih Joshua says “the present situation calls for all Cameroonians to stand together, to put our partisan political inclinations aside, and fight this pandemic as the mother of all battles we have ever faced. These are not times for partisan politics. This pandemic calls on our solidarity and patriotism. We sincerely do hope that those in power also understand these simple predispositions.”
According to official figures, over 509 Cameroonians have been tested positive of the virus already.