After the ruling CPDM’s overwhelming victory [with 70 out of 70 elective seats] at the recent senatorial elections in Cameroon, President Paul Biya on March 31, proceeded to appointing the 30 remaining senators.
The Cameroon Senate is made up of 100 seats, 30 of which have to be appointed by the President.
Among those appointed are five people from the opposition, including Vanigassen Mochiggle, a senior official of the opposition Social Democratic Front (SDF) and close aide to the party’s Chairman, Ni John Fru Ndi.
Biya also appointed Pierre Flambeau Ngayap of the (UNDP), Marlyse Aboui (ANDP), Me Paulin Djorwe (MDR), and Besongoh Akemfor (UPC). The 25 other appointed senators come from Biya’s party, the CPDM.
Apart from the SDF that had historically portrayed itself as an alternative to the Biya regime, the other opposition parties cited above have always been allies of the CPDM, describing themselves as “the Presidential majority.”
With Mochiggle’s appointment, Hon. Jean Michel Nintcheu, a member of Parliament who was recently shown the door by his own SDF party, has blasted the party for joining the presidential majority by sneaking in through the window.
“A Fru Ndi activist appointed senator by Paul Biya! The SDF shamefully enters the presidential majority through the window,” the MP said.
But Nintcheu isn’t the only one blasting the SDF. Jean Robert Wafo, ousted Communication Secretary for the party who had previously accused the party’s hierarchy of showing support to the CPDM says the appointment of Mochiggle has in way crossed a red line.
“To go, in less than two years, from the stage of a supporter to that of a footstool of the Yaounde regime, one must have thrown shame to the dogs to orchestrate or validate such political crapulence. From seven (07) elected senators to one (01) appointed by magnanimity of the President of the Republic. All this shameless flatness of the new recruit of the presidential majority for so little? It’s reached the bottom,” he said.
According to the politician, anyone with an iota of political knowledge now understands why he, along with 26 other SDF top brass, were evicted from the party recently.
On February 25, the SDF used its now infamous Article 8.2 on 27 of its supporters and top brass. They were all evicted on grounds of indiscipline. The appointment of Mr. Mochiggle is now seen by some of those evicted as compensation for perceived loyalists.
According to Jean Robert Wafo, it was necessary to empty the NEC-National Executive Committee- of its substratum and then remain with an empty shell that would ratify all the orders of the governing system.
Meanwhile, the same octogenarians have been re-elected to head both the Senate and the National Assembly. Cavayé Yéguié Djibril, Speaker of the National Assembly since 1992 has been re-elected…and he is now 83 years old! The Senate president, Marcel Niat Njifenji is even older at 88 years.