Cameroon Politics: Biya Vs Kamto the fight over legitimacy
Cameroon politics Biya vs Kamto
Since the presidential elections in Cameroon on October 7 and the proclamation of results by the constitutional council on October 22, 2018, which saw the 86 years old Paul Biya maintained as the president of Cameroon for another seven-year term, the Cameroon political environment has been filled with tension.
Ash opposition leader Maurice Kamto has not ceased making his points that he is the rightfully elected president of Cameroon and that his victory has been stolen by the CPDM party of the proclaimed president Paul Biya.
Kamto’s believe to be the people’s choice after the October 7 presidential elections started with a press conference a day after polling on the 8th of October in Yaounde where he boldly declared that according to information gathered from national polling stations he was the president-elect.
He there then used the opportunity to call on incumbent Biya to respect the people’s choice and make way for a peaceful transition.
This move from the political icon was well loved by the people but totally debunked by the CPDM and in no time the outings from the press conference went viral on the national and international media.
On the 14th of October results of the elections as compiled by the national vote counting commission went viral on social media suggesting that Paul Biya the obvious unpopular choice according to public opinion was the winner with 71% of the votes while Maurice Kamto the most popular choice came second with 14% of the votes.
On the 16th of October 2018, the legal luminary Maurice Kamto led a coalition of prominent lawyers including renowned Barrister Akere Muna to defend MRC’s petition to the Constitutional Council as post-electoral litigations.
Kamto and his team justified and gave pieces of evidence to back his claim of having won the elections and appealed for the partial cancellation of results.
Unfortunately but not surprising to the Cameroonian people, on the 18th of October the supreme body in charge of elections led by Clement Atangana declared 17 petitions all unfounded including hard facts from Maurice Kamto’s team.
As usual, on the constituted date 22 October 2018, the constitutional council in a solemn ceremony at the Yaounde conference centre proclaimed 86 years old Biya Paul the winner of the October 7th presidential elections
Unswerving and legally rooted the most popular Maurice Kamto took to the internet by 7:30 PM in the evening on the same day results were proclaimed to counteract the results qualifying the results as fake from false data. This surprising declaration from Kamto marked the beginning of resistance to electoral fraud in Cameroon.
read also: I will not back down: Maurice Kamto
On the 6th of November, the day for the swearing-in ceremony of President-elect Paul Biya, logical Kamto announced a resistance press conference at the Yaounde Omnisport. The conference was interrupted by security forces and it ended with the arrest of eight Barristers and the keeping of Maurice Kamto under house arrest.
As if that was enough to end the resistance, the well-declared slogan “NO TO ELECTORAL HOLD UP” by the MRC’s firebrand Maurice Kamto had been long and silently understood by the Cameroonian people.
The resistance to do away with the 36 years CPDM machinery has been taken over by the Cameroonian Diaspora known as “The Change Generation”. The Change Generation led by renowned Cameroonian US based Professor, political activist and Author Patrick Nganang is now almost done with the mobilization to launch a propaganda television known as the Generation Change TV that will operate from the US.
The GenerationChange TV is said to be the opposit of the state owned CRTV
Ever Since the president of the Republic Paul Biya was sworn in again for another 7-year term in office his new leadership has not yet been felt in the country. His usual Royal flavour as president seems to be more passive than active now.
This could be attributed to the hypothesis from a school of thought which posits Cameroon now is divided among three presidents:
- Supporters of the status quo with their president Pual Biya
- Supporters of change with their president Maurice Kamto
- And supporters of the independent state of Ambazonia with their president in prison Sesseku Ayuk Tabe
Cameroonians’ hunger for change in the political leadership could be felt right when campaigns for the presidential elections were launched in late September 2018. Crowd polling rallies from opposition candidates just as were the case in 1992 spoke volumes.
Regardless of the fact that change has failed to come forth through elections, Cameroonians keep expressing their heart desires for this change in the least opportunity they get.
That is why he who has gained the favour to win the people’s general will according to Rouseaux is enjoying the power and the love of the people. This is no other person than Professor Maurice Kamto.
People’s love for Kamto could be witnessed lately in Douala on the 20th of Nov during his return from Addis Ababa where he attended the 11th edition of Heads of state summit. Thousands of Cameroonians came out to welcome him and were ready to go on street demonstration but Kamto thanked and cautioned them saying:
“I will never walk on the blood of Cameroonians to come to power…Do not make unauthorized demonstrations, I do not want to lose any of you” Muarice Kamto
The political atmosphere in Cameroon is tense. Cameroon politics is becoming interesting by the day and the political culture has increased thanks largely to the internet and social media influencers. Political blogging in Cameroon though is still to be recognized.
Defining politics in the Cameroonian context now will be very complex. To situate the political happenings in Cameroon as a socio-political blogger, I decided to glance through some key definitions of politics according to prominent political philosophers.
Harold Lasswell defines politics as who gets what, when, and how. David Easton defines politics as the authoritative allocation of values. Mao Tse Tung says Politics is war without bloodshed and a seasoned politician in Cameroon Simon Achidi Achu says politics is Njangui – You scratch my back I scratch your own.
However, to better situate Cameroon Politics at the moment: Biya Vs Kamto’s fight over legitimacy I will like to go with the definition of politics according to Okwudiba Nnoli (1895). Noli defines politics as all the activities that are directly or indirectly associated with the seizure of state power, the consolidation of state power, and the use of state power.
Going by this definition, President Paul Biya has successfully seized state power through elections, he has since consolidated state power by disbanding the three arms of government – the Legislature, the Judiciary and the Executive powers into his hands at Etoudi.
Nonetheless, there is a big problem, one of Africa’s richest presidents as well as the oldest world class diplomat Paul Biya is finding it this time around practically difficult to USE state power. This boils down to the silent but open fight over legitimacy between President Paul biya and Professor Maurice Kamto.
Reason why Senior Associate and adviser to African presidents including Paul Biya and Regional Director at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs Dr Christopher Formunyoh has called on the recounting of votes in Cameroon for legitimacy sake.
Using state power effectively requires that the president should be universally accepted as the people’s choice through their transparent voices in an election.
The question of Biya’s legitimacy as president over the people of Cameroon remains a further maths equation which must be solved by the 86 years old statesman together with his CPDM junta. Georges Munang
Award-winning International media organization Foreignpolicy.com described events at Cameroon’s 2018 presidential elections as “Cameroon Paul Biya gives a master class in fake democracy”
Though most African dictators do not care about the will of the people in ruling over them, most political observers maintain Cameroon needs political pacification to curb an anti-government uprising that may add to the already existing Anglophone Crisis and Boko Haram. To be continued…..