CPDM barons still in one party nostalgia.

Two things came out swamping the celebration of President Paul Biya's 41st anniversary in power under the ambit of the Cameroon Peoples Democratic Movement, CPDM party.

The first was that supporters and officials across the country, instead of telling Cameroonians the achievements of their party leader, on bonus age, they concentrated on begging him to run for an eighth mandate at a sensitive period third terms have been described as "a democratic coup d'etat" by the military junta in Burkina Faso.

Secondly, there was a display of pseudo-opposition politicians ‘decamping’ to the ruling party. 

Embarrassingly, CPDM leaders fishing new converts did so in fanfare devoid of a vision of a grand political alternative for competitive debates or new ideas.

Take the Upper House of Parliament for instance. In the last senatorial polls, the CPDM swept all the 70 elective seats in a contest that 10 ‘political parties’ took part in. Some 11,134 electors registered for the exercise and 10,124 effectively cast their votes.

The ruling party improved its performance and took all the 14 seats the SDF won when the senate went operational in 2013. 

Embarrassed by having a single party senate, President Biya offered a handful to the allied opposition parties including the SDF which was given one.

Traditionally, in any democracy, politicians of mettle, not bread and butter beggars passing for politicians, change parties on the crystallisation of policies and principles.

If you asked the carpet crossers their policy motivation to join the CPDM, they will be blank. 

The crucial issues currently facing the country are insecurity in the North West and South West Regions. 

How has the ruling party addressed the situation in the last seven years, when the decentralisation policy dangled as a panacea, remains on the slow lane?

What is the motivation to join the ruling party when youth unemployment on the rise has been described as "ticking time bomb"?

Has the CPDM government performed satisfactorily in providing basic social amenities like electricity, water, roads, affordable and efficient health delivery system?

How is the country going to repay the mountains of crushing debts being borrowed, left right and centre, yet, the feel good effect is not there among the populace?

Why has the electoral code not been amended as persistently recommended by international election observers to ensure free, fair, inclusive and credible polls so as to avoid violence often triggered by flawed elections?

Those who are scampering to join the ruling party and their cheering hosts have no answers as results on the ground paint a bleak picture. 

Some of the supporters and officials of the ruling party fan club cannot even say what is in their party's manifestoes.

The opposition party too hardly have a manifesto they use to explain how they can solve the daunting issues at play in the country's political life. But with the constant criticism of the few truly opposition parties, which are less than ten from the basket of some 300, they can hold the CPDM to sit up and be accountable.

However, throwing the hook, line and sinker to pull supporters of others just to strangulate the already feeble and disunited but credible opposition is just to push the country into the chasm of one party dictatorship, which some of the CPDM lackeys are still caught in its web of  reminiscence and nostalgia.

The Guardian Post has not lost track of how CPDM officials resisted the introduction of multi-party politics. President Biya, in his magnanimity, challenged them to gird their loins for the competition to allow voters to make their choice on competing visions so as to decide who governs them.

With the favourable advantages of incumbency, the CPDM has had crushing victories, though often tinted with reported flaws. Why are they now bent on crippling and annihilating an opposition groping to find its way in the country's democratic maze?

What they are doing; celebrating new recruits into the CPDM, is attempting to return to a one-party authoritarian rule with inflated egos. If they succeed, the electorate would not hold their representatives accountable and their gerrymandering to remain in power, without any check, is dangerous for the nation.

President Biya understands that risk. That is why Le Monde newspaper carried an editorial indicting the regime for being "authoritarian".

Prof Jacques Fame Ndongo, Minister of State, Minister of Higher Education and spin doctor of the ruling CPDM, in rejecting the article, had said there were 329 political parties in the country.

Although an overwhelming majority of the 329 parties exists only on paper, any attempt to lure their members, with bread and sardines, would be pushing the country into a perilous gorge of destruction.  That shouldn't be a legacy CPDM barons want from President Biya, after over four decades in power.

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