Debate over election calendar in Cameroon has suddenly heightened with the supporters of the ruling Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement calling on their party President to stand in 2018. Such calls must have awakened supporters of the opposition to start thinking of how best to play their own cards when time comes. Yet, some of the motions from frontline CPDM supporters are even calling for anticipated presidential elections. Those observing such a political climate must be wondering why the clarion calls for President Paul Biya to stand as presidential candidate for the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (CPDM) during the next elections. Could this just be the usual show of dynamism within the party or there is something else? What, with the recent reorganisation of leadership positions in the basic organs of the party that saw the Party Chairman open the electoral process to grassroots supporters and not only to officials as was the case in the past? Such questions and more may not be completely out of place, given that the country is still in principle two years away from the next presidential election. Sustaining such a momentum within two years could lead to a boiling point!
In addition, a key provision of CPDM by-laws in paragraph three of Article 27 requires that; “The National Chairman of the CPDM shall be the party’s candidate for presidential elections.” Could these motions be the dragon fly that announces a change of season? While analysts speculate for answers, the fact remains that the calibre of CPDM party supporters who have been signing the motions of support has led to varied interpretations, with other political parties taking turns to voice their opinion. However, supporters of the CPDM party argue that they believe in constant occupation of political space, especially within a multiparty setup like in Cameroon. The recent reorganisation of the party that ended in December 2015 saw the renewal of grassroots organs of the party, thereby creating room for fresh blood with new ideas to propel the party to more victories. Thus, since CPDM supporters in the South Region started the call for their party Chairman, Mr Paul Biya to stand as candidate for the next Presidential election, it has taken the entire country by storm, with virtually all frontline supporters looking for how best to envelop the same message and be counted when time comes. Also, the bylaws of the CPDM hold that the party should elect its chairman during the party congress.
The last Ordinary Congress of the party took place from 15-16 September 2011, during which Mr Paul Biya accepted another mandate as party Chairman, thereby indirectly, giving a favourable response to previous calls for him to stand as party candidate for presidential elections. Moreover, Article 18 of the CPDM basic text states that, “The Congress shall elect the National Chairman of the Party, members of the Central Committee on the basis of the list system, and the alternate members of the Central Committee.” The current trends by CPDM supporter across the country not only to support their party Chairman in the fight against insecurity but also to call for his candidature for the next presidential elections is equally a mark of the confidence they have in the ability of their party leader to ensure victory for the party in case of any early elections. The motions have in no mistaken terms underlined some of the reasons that the supporters think Mr Biya should valuably represent the party in future polls and the days ahead should definitely speak of the political agenda in the country. While the other political parties figure out what options they have, the ruling CPDM has, as usual thrown their dice for the Founding President of the party as their winning ticket. Supporters of the ruling CPDM party have been upbeat about President Paul Bya leading them to victory in future presidential elections.