Thursday, September 16, 2010

Cameroon:Fru Ndi warns SDF Supporters against Enrolling in Electoral Registers

By Christopher Ambe Shu

After meeting with officials of ELECAM in Yaounde Tuesday to press for an urgent review of the controversial electoral body, Ni John Fru Ndi, National Chairman of SDF, Cameroon’s leading opposition party, has called on SDF militants and sympathizers not to bother to enroll in the electoral registers at least for now, until further notice.

The call is coming at a time that ELECAM has just launched this year’s voter registration and revision of electoral lists in preparation for the 2011 presidential election. The SDF met with ELECAM at the latter’s invitation to discuss voter registration and the way forward

Addressing a press conference following a meeting of SDF hierarchy with ELECAM board, Fru Ndi emphasized that the electoral body is highly untrustworthy and therefore it cannot conduct any free and fair election in the country.

Fru said SDF would only participate in the coming election if ELECAM, widely believed to be an organ of the ruling CPDM and not an independent electoral body as expected, were completely overhauled.
As at now, the majority of ELECAM Board members are reportedly CPDM loyalists, and admintrators believed to be pro- Biya regime are still required to be involved in the management of elections, against popular wish.

But Fru Ndi was unclear as to whether the SDF would boycott the coming polls if his party’s request for the review of ELECAM were in the end ignored.

 “Has the SDF told you that we are boycotting elections?” he fired at the press when pressed to make his party’s position absolutely clear on the coming presidential poll.

“Why can we not come out with laws that will ensure free and fair elections in Cameroon?” he asked rhetorically. “We say enough is enough”

According to Fru Ndi if the 2011 presidential elections must be conducted hitch-free, certain SDF proposed conditions must be met. These include: a two-round vote, Cameroonians abroad must be allowed to vote, the use of a single ballot paper and the participation of political parties in all the electoral processes.

Fru Ndi said unless the SDF conditions are met he cannot ask his militants and supporters to enroll in the electoral registers. He urged SDF officials who are calling on militants to register to put a halt to such calls.

While reiterating his resolve to continue promoting peace and dialogue in the country, the SDF leader warned the Biya regime against taking Cameroonians for granted.

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