SDF Announces Boycott Of Regional Elections, Citing Unrevised Electoral Code, Unresolved Crisis

NEWS, Politics, Society

By Etienne Mainimo Mengnjo

One of Cameroon’s main opposition political parties, the Social Democratic Front, SDF has said it will not participate in the recently announced Regional Elections because the elections will take place under precarious conditions.

The decision of the SDF party is contained in a communique issued on September 2, signed by its National Chairman, Ni John Fru Ndi.

According to the press release, the SDF cannot take part in an election without the holding of an inclusive revision and enhancement of the electoral code. They also added that there must be an enactment of a ceasefire in the Northwest and Southwest Regions, followed by the conduct further discussions towards resolving the crisis.

In its statement, the SDF indicated that for them to take part in the election, there must be the putting in place a federal system of governance, in good faith of resolving the constitutional crisis in the country, caused by the crisis in the Anglophone regions.

Under this current dispensation, the party says, organising elections is a step in the wrong direction.

“First of all, without the resolution of the municipal election disputes pending at the administrative bench of the supreme court, knowing that the electorate is made of up of municipal councillors and traditional rulers, the government is only exacerbating the legitimacy crisis that institutions suffer,” the communique said.

The SDF party also indicated that “the Constitutional Council recognised that elections cannot be validated when held in an atmosphere of war with all the polling stations in the various constituencies regrouped into only one polling centre.”

Going by the party, the Council recognise the act as a severe violation of voter’s rights and a clear manoeuvre of government to rig elections by again marginalising Anglophones.

The party says members of parliament were elected by less than one percent of the voting population, and that the supposedly elected cannot reside and work in areas where they are said to have been elected by the people.

“The Regional elections will only go to further exclude the population from participating in the institutional life of the country”, the party said.

To the SDF, government action feeds the narrative of a planned marginalisation of the people of these regions- to which they have on several occasions stated that the crisis in the two Anglophone regions is State-sponsored and government enabled, with both assailants complicit and insensitive to the suffering of the masses.

“Furthermore, we are curious that a regime that is unable to deliver on the people’s expectation towards financing the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic by appealing for national solidarity, suddenly finds financial might when it comes to jeopardising effective devolution of powers,” the SDF said.

Stating that the Biya regime’s continuous cosmetic romance with meaningless concepts such as decentralisation is the root cause of the turmoil in Cameroon, the SDF called on Cameroonians to remain calm and steadfast towards this resolve, by remaining strong and focused.

“The current breakdown in social order across swathes of the country is the direct consequence of distrust in the institutions which are not fully representative and in some cases clearly lacking in credibility,” the party said.

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