The bureau for Cameroon’s 10th legislative period at the National Assembly has been voted into office.
In what was seen as a non-event by many, the same members were reelected or handpicked, maintaining the old order.
81-year-old Cavaye Yeguie Djibril was maintained as National Assembly Speaker, a seat he has held for 29 uninterrupted years.
Cavaye received a majority 147 out of 162 votes. 15 MPs, reports say, cast null ballots.
Standing unchallenged, Hon. Hilarion Etong also had a majority 145 votes, securing his position.
After the process, Cavaye took the floor in usual manner to thank the President who doubles as CPDM party leader, pledging to continue fulfilling his tasks.
At the Senate, a visibly ailing Marcel Niat Njifenji was reelected president, in a similar show put up by the ruling CPDM party that enjoys overwhelming majority.
At 86, Niat who can barely stand on his own or walk was reinstated into a position many had thought would be handed to another to relieve the octagenarian.
After his election as Senate president, he could be seen assisted by close to ten men just to walk up to his seat.
While many have questioned how the old guard got to be maintained, the bigger question lies in their productivity and ability to adapt to the changing times.
Niat also doubles as President Biya’s constitutional successor. Being of the same age group, old and frail, some have desbribed the future of the country as being on life support.
Bureau elections expose deepening cracks within SDF
The Social Democratic Front, SDF party has been in a lot of controversy over the past weeks, and it did not fail to put up another show in parliament yesterday.
Many raised eyebrows over the stance of its First National Vice President Hon Joshua Osih who was reelected as Questor.
Unlike other members of the bureau, Osih’s name had no political party attached to it. Coming shortly after he was reprimanded by the party for a letter signed alongside ruling party senators over Cameroonian asylum seekers, many are seeking to know his position.
The SDF had told Osih to either withdraw his signature or table the Anglophone Crisis in parliament. Osih is yet to pick any of the courses of action.
The drama got more intense when it turned out Hon Emilia Nkeze (of the SDF) was not going to be maintained at the Senate bureau. Prior to yesterday, she had served as Senate Vice President, a position considered as juicy thanks to the previleges it brought to her.
The Guardian Post reports that Hon Nkeze and other senators tried objecting when a note by the party Chairman Ni John Fru Ndi, proposing that Hon Vanigansen Mochiggle (still of the SDF) replaces her was read.
The question of the authenticity of Fru Ndi’s signature, the paper reports was put to rest after he was phoned and he dispatched Hon. Joshua Osih to the Senate with the same note.
While she was replaced by her fellow party senator, Hon Emilia Nkeze losing her position as Senate Vice President speaks volumes of the apparent cracks within the party that are beginning to widen.