Opposition Coalition Announces May 20 Boycott, Demonstrations

 May 16, 2012

The Group of 7, a coalition of opposition parties and civil society organizations hatched in the wake of the October 9 2011 presidential election has launched calls for opposition loyalists nationwide to massively boycott the upcoming national day celebrations on May 20.

 The call is contained in a statement dubbed the Foumban Declaration bearing eight resolutions validated by the group leaders and representatives at a weekend gathering in Foumban in the West Region.  The document, dated May 12 2012, also warns of relentless demonstrations to begin at an unspecified date in protest of the electoral code recently adopted by MPs of the ruling CPDM and promulgated into law by President Paul Biya.

 Elsewhere, its signatories say a delegation will travel to Paris in the days ahead to meet with newly-elected socialist French President Francois Hollande and present their expectations of bilateral cooperation henceforth with Cameroon. 

 The attendees also resolved to use all available means to vehemently combat fraud during anticipated twin council and parliamentary elections initially slated for later this year, but now postponed indefinitely following the decision by the government to embrace biometric voter lists recompilation.  According to Albert Dzongang of La Dynamique party and one of the signatories of the Foumban Declaration, the promulgated electoral code is unacceptable because it takes Cameroon’s “limping democracy several years backwards.”

 Others concluded that even the much-vaunted biometric voter registries recompilation had been “Cameroonized” to leave room for possibilities of vote-rigging by the governing CPDM party.  “We cannot accept a code that ignores double-round balloting and which fails to bring down voter age to 18, among others,” Dzongang said.

 The Foumban Declaration follows one made in Yaoundé shortly after the October 9 poll, in which the Group of 7 urged Cameroonians to reject the results of the election and pour into the streets in protests.  The call drew widespread condemnation from pro-CPDM groups, traditional rulers and even the Episcopal Council. 

 According to Adamou Ndam Njoya, leader of the CDU party and host of the event, the declaration illustrates newfound efforts at unity among the country’s fragmented opposition.  “We have decided on a number of measures to reinforce the unity of the opposition and other actors around defined objectives,” he said. 

 However, conspicuously absent at the gathering were Ni John Fru Ndi of the SDF and Edith Kahbang Walla of the CPP. They were respectively represented by Atekwana Akonji and Joseph Desire Som.

By Divine Ntaryike Jr

Source: The Post