2011 Presidential election › 2018 Presidential elections

2018 Presidential election:Is an opposition alliance still possible? (III)

Some form of alliance is still possible as a last ditch effort though there are certain quarters you must rule out in such a calculation.

Maurice Kamto will not step aside and support another candidate. His young party is seen as the force with momentum, following consistent groundwork these past years. More than any other political party, Kamto’s CRM has been crisscrossing the length and breadth of the country these past years implanting local party structures and holding popular rallies as if preparing for an election in the coming week.

Along the way, he has drawn militants and heavyweights from about every major political force. He has a technical adviser at the presidency in his shopping bag.

The visible panick within the government at every move by Kamto signal he is the man to fear. Perhaps, like he says, the man to kick and score the penalty against incumbent Paul Biya.

SDF’s Joshua Osih will not step aside for Kamto, except the Holy Spirit Himself came to him in human flesh with that instruction. The bad blood and rivalry between the leading opposition party and number two political force is too acrimonious for a possible entente at short notice.Osih, with a popular, resounding investiture from his party, feels no moral pressure to throw in the towel and he holds on to the argument SDF’s previous candidate, Fru Ndi, always raised against Ndam Njoya that smaller parties ought to ally to bigger parties, not the other way round. However, in the minds of optimistic CRM supporters, SDF’s claim of opposition leadership may only be a thing of the past, seeing CRM’s momentum. Perhaps a status about to be toppled at this election, short of victory for either of them.

Muna has always said he is disposed to an alliance. He has admirable personality. His professional and international record and his family name have attracted a significant following for his flamboyant candidacy, even if his galaxy includes more of personalities than real masses which does not look like all it takes to beat Biya. And Muna is a gentleman and won’t let his family name to be smeared in a spoiling venture to add to all that is blamed on his older brother, Ben and his father. He knows his admirable family name owes the public — even if Anglophones more –something that looks like a restitution, a denial of self.

This may sound contradictory that he, an Anglophone, should “surrender” to a Francophone at this crucial time of an Anglophone uprising to assert former Southern Cameroon equallity and dignity or depart with it. This also in an election which some have advocated should produce an Anglophone president. Nevertheless, being one of the most levelheaded and obviously one of the least desperate of the candidates, it should not pose a big challenge to have Muna through his weight behind another candidate he believes is surer to kick out Biya.

Cabral Libii just may join an opposition alliance given certain assurances. While his impressive campaign kickoff may rather embolden him to go solo, he may well resort to throwing his strong youth following into an alliance basket as his bargaining chip. That is less likely as his startup Univers party may prefer the strategic option of testing the waters, sharpening its teeth, implanting the party around the country, cutting out favourable constituencies and identifying potential candidates in future parliamentary and local elections.

Possible temptating offers from the ruling party, proposing cabinet positions to Libii may also motivate him to run solo in order to increase his bargaining power and ask for more concessions from Biya with his election score.

Franklin Ndifor and Serge Espoir Matomba are also likely to join, seeing the drift, if others are pulling together. But not Garga Haman and Ndam Njoya, though the latter just may, as a restitution for many years of his own wasted opportunities in past alliances. However, the bitter experience of both old brooms in opposition alliance business since 1992 won’t easily lure them to another, especially, not one in which they both stand no chance of leading.

Whatever calculations the candidates may have, it should be born in mind that this is not a normal election. It is a redemption election to drain the swamp and clear the way for future elections on a level playing field. Brilliant and admittedly innovative as this election has been, it is not the lack of novelty and firepower that SDF, CDU, NUDP and UPC lacked since the 1990s to have failed to dislodge Biya.

*The author is  a  journalist and political anaylist

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