|Biya Snubs Fru Ndi In Spite of Historic Talks|
|Written by Eugene N. Nforngwa|
|Thursday, 10 February 2011 10:00|
SDF chairman frustrated, ready to take to the streets... again
By Ro-Martin Fefeh, The Standard Tribune
Two months into a much heralded public display of friendship between President Paul Biya and his long time political rival Ni John Fru Ndi of the Social Democratic Front, nothing has changed outside the pleasantries and publicised chatter.
Biya has remained deaf to a key complaint by the opposition party concerning the constitution of Elections Cameroon and is expected to go ahead with October’s presidential election with the same attitude that predated his December meeting with Fru Ndi.
The SDF showed its frustration with the regime during a recent meeting of its National Executive committee which noted Biya’s “grave confidence” in the country’s election organ, in spite of SDF criticisms. Reports now say, Fru Ndi would lead anti-Elecam demonstrations in the weeks ahead.
There were no guarantees that the historic meeting between Biya and Fru Ndi in Bamenda in December would produce any real change in the policies of Yaounde. But the SDF appeared to be counting on the closeness, publicly declaring that its previous messages to Biya did not reach the president.
Fru Ndi said he personally handed Biya a multiple-point memo during the meeting, demanding among other things the dissolution of Elecam before this year’s presidential election. Both men have met at least two more times since then and publicly declared their intentions to work together.
In a statement following a meeting of the National Executive Council of the SDF recently in Bamenda, Fru Ndi said his party was also unhappy that even after announcing elections for this year, Biya was in no rush to make the electoral calendar public.
“The National Executive Committee expressed grave concern at Mr Biya’s confidence in ELECAM and his feet dragging over the irregularities that were pointed out to him in that elections body, amongst others,” Fru Ndi said in the statement, which was e-mailed to us.
Referring to popular revolts in Egypt and Tunisia, as well as the “peoples’ power syndrome” of 2008 Fru Ndi said the time to ensure a credible election was running out and that “the patience of Cameroonians is limited.”
“The law on ELECAM is unacceptable,” Fru Ndi said. “The SDF therefore enjoins Mr Biya to consider SDF’s 11 points on ELECAM because as we have stated many times before, there shall be no elections in Cameroon under ELECAM in its present dispensation.”
Reports said last week that the party’s ruling organ had given its okay for the anti-ELECAM rallies around the country, which Fru Ndi first talked about in December following his first meeting with Biya. They would begin in mid-February, a paper close to the party said.
"Our position to date is that ELECAM is not credible. It is an outfit of the CPDM. This is being demonstrated by that party's officials, who are presently doing the work of ELECAM on the field," the party statement said.
ELECAM has already gone to work and is deep into the registration of voters ahead of the vote expected in October. Other political leaders say they are giving the organ, which is organising elections for the first time, the befit of doubt. It is unlikely that SDF opposition would stop it from running the poll.
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