Friday, May 10, 2013

Cameroon:Biya Ignores Leading Opposition in Appointment of 30 Senators!

By Christopher Ambe
President Biya  last May 8  used his discretionary power  to  appoint  30 Senators ,as required by law, to  complete  the  100-person Senate, 70 of whom were elected by indirect suffrage on April 14, 2013. 

About ten thousand municipal councilors had constituted the Electoral College, and over 95% them actually voted for the 70 senators.

 But the expectations of the leading opposition party, the SDF which has only 14 elected senators, were dashed as none of the appointees was SDF.

 Senate, an upper house of Cameroon’s Parliament, is provided for by the country’s 1996 Constitution; it took the Biya’s government 17 years to convene the first senatorial polls in spite of the importance of this institution. 

According to Cameroon constitution, when the office of the President of the Republic becomes vacant, the head of the Senate shall as of right act as interim president, until a new president of the Republic is elected. 

The National Assembly, the other house of Parliament, has 180 members.
Four political parties (CPDM, SDF, UDC and NUDP out of Cameroon’s over 200 political parties had qualified and participated in the senatorial poll, which saw only the ruling CPDM secure 56 seats and SDF 14 seats. The UDC and NUD P secured no seat.

Now a full house, the 100 senators will, Tuesday May 14, meet in session as of right, during which sitting the Bureau of the Senate will be elected.

 Cameroon has ten regions, and by law each region must be represented in the Senate by ten senators, seven of whom are elected and three appointed by the President of the Republic.
The President of the Republic now is Paul Biya, who coincidentally is the chair of the ruling CPDM since its creation in March 1985.

Before the election of the senators last April 14, there were secret talks between the SDF and the CPDM, which paved the way for both parties to campaign for each other in certain regions. For example, following the disqualification of the CPDM senatorial list in the West Region, the ruling party asked all its electors to cast their votes in favor of the SDF list-that made the latter to grab all seven senatorial seats in the West region.  In like manner, SDF whose list was disqualified in the Littoral Region also asked its electors to vote in favor of the CPDM-making the CPDM to sweep all the seven seats in the region.

Apparently banking on the new-found political romance between the SDF and CPDM, John Fru Ndi, SDF National Chairman,had pleaded with President Biya to include SDF militants in his appointment of 30 senators .SDF had even proposed SDF members for President Biya to appoint among the 30, but Chairman Fru Ndi said he, having led the SDF Senatorial list in the Northwest Region and lost, would decline any appointment by President Biya as senator
In his appointment of the 30 senators last May 8, Paul Biya, ignored the SDF request, to the embarrassment of the leading opposition party.

Mr.Biya preferred to make the Senate have representatives from other political parties by appointing Dakolle Daissala, a longtime ally of the President and leader of the MDR party as a senator.
He also appointed Pierre Flambeau Ngayap of the UNDP, which contested the senatorial election but failed to secure seats.  The UNDP, since years back, has an alliance with the CPDM, but it was a surprise that the CPDM rather chose to back the SDF of John Fru Ndi at last senatorial polls.
 Several of the appointed senators are former Ministers in the Biya regime .They include: Peter Mafany Musonge, former Prime Minister; Francis Nkwain, former junior minister of External Relations; David Etame Massoma, former Minister of Supreme State Control; Rene Ze Nguele, former Minister of Public Service.

Also appointed are some prominent traditional rulers such as Fon Doh Ganyonga III (of Bali) from the Northwest, Sultan Mbombo Njoya from the Western region, and Nfon Victor Mukete, Paramount Ruler of the Bafaws of Meme in the Southwest Region.
Here are the 30 appointed Substantive Senators for the ten regions:
1.ADAMAOUA(Baba Hamadou,Moussa Sabo,Mohaman Gabdo),2.CENTRE (Nkodo Laurent,
Ondoua Pius,Jean Marie Pogmoni),3.EAST(Mata Joseph,Rene Ze Nguele,Aboui Marlyse)
4.EXTREME NORTH(Mahamat Bakar,Jean Baptist Bascouda & Dakolle Daisalla) 5.LITTORAL(Madiba Songue ,Etame Massoma &Ngayap Pierre Flambeau) 6.NORTH(Aboubakari Abdoulaye,Pierette Hayatou & Amadou Abo)7.NORTH WEST(Fon Doh Ganyongah III,Nkwain Francis & Fon Teche Musa II),8.WEST(Sultan Mbombo Njoya, Niat Njifenji & Ndjomo Kamga Victor),9.SOUTH(Ngally Ngoua Menye Francois Xavier & Mme Bisseck Paulette),10.SOUTH WEST(Peter Mafany Musonge,Nfon  Victor Mukete & Chief Anja Simon)

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