The ruling CPDM party is widely expected to win yesterday Monday September 30, 2013 local and parliamentary elections that took place in Cameroon. 29 parties fielded candidates for parliamentary elections while 35 did same for local elections.
The leader of the Opposition John Fru Ndi has persistently accused the ruling party of dirty tricks and using state funds and machinery to make sure they win every single election since multiparty politics was re-introduced in the country in 1990.
The Social Democratic Front, SDF, and other opposition parties accept to participate in the elections after 1992 and 1997 elections boycott did nothing to change the political dispensation in a country where incumbent Paul Biya, 80, president for the last 30 years, has no intention of leaving power voluntarily.
Only 5.4 million people in a population of 22 million were registered to elect 180 members of parliament and 10.600 local councillors. Biometric electoral cards were used for the first time but voter apathy was widespread across the country as most people consider the results fixed in advance.
Walter Nana Wilson went out on the streets of Buea, capital of South Western Cameroon to talk to some voters.
He asked them the simple question; “What do you expect from the candidates and parties you voted for?”
Excerpts of their answers:
Laurentine Efunga, Student-translator
I do not expect more than the interest of the people. The candidates and parties I voted for must adequately represent my interest in parliament and in the municipal council. The candidates presented to us their memoranda and made some promises. My wish is that they fulfill their promises; they should stand by them and know that they are working in our interest.
I expect to see good roads in our municipalities, the return of community development, a change in our political system, which I consider is not the best. I expect to see better policies in Cameroon. Let the new members of parliament get to Yaoundé and help us Cameroonians.
Egbe Mba Mbi, businessman
For the parliamentary election, I wish to see competence in those I have voted for. For the municipal election, I expect those I have voted for to have the community at heart. To get to the council, it is all about developing the community. There are lots of social amenities that we need in Buea and across Cameroon. Those we have voted should take note of the water crises in Cameroon, the absence of electricity in some parts of the country and the importance of good road networks across the country. We expect to see new streets opened and tarred; let us make our country governable.
Raymond Tabe Agbor Tambe, secondary school teacher
Let the work that is going on in the country continue. I wish to see Cameroon industrialised and let those I have voted for in the parliamentary and municipal elections continue to do great things for the development of our economy. We have to improve the economy of our country, and industrialising the economy will be a good step in the right direction.
Our youths need avenues for employment, let the party and the candidates I have voted for do more so that the worries of the masses, those in rural areas, low-level income earners, let their interest be taken into account during decisions at the parliamentary and council levels.
Let the 2035 dream of Cameroon to emerge as a nation come to fruition even before the target year. Let development be at the core of all what those we vote for do when they are in office.
Linus Etone, teacher
What we expect from the various candidates we vote for is development. I am talking about change in Cameroon; a positive change in our society and Cameroon in general.
The new MPs and councillors are not coming to start from afresh, but to continue from where their predecessors ended. Let them build us roads, schools, make potable water and electricity available, and much more.
I wish to see a significant change within the masses, with the people involved in the development chain. All of us wish to see a great Cameroon nation.
Christopher Fru, driver
I expect many changes in Cameroon after these twin elections; municipal and parliamentary. We saw the candidates and parties during the campaigns telling us what they would do if elected into the respective offices. I voted the candidate that I think will do good for my community and Cameroon. Buea is progressively changing; we will love to see more of that.
Emmanuel Anye, carpenter
Personally, my concerns are on development and changes in some sectors of the country. Let the change begin with the President of the Republic, Paul Biya. He has been there for a while now. Let us have a change and move forward.
Eric Fale, businessman
Let there be change in our mentality and all we do and engage in. We all want to see a changed Cameroon. The persons I have voted for should bring us development. The offices they are getting into are not for their personal interests but for the people of Cameroon. They are coming to serve and not to be served. At the close of the elections and declarations of results, the winners need to work for the benefit of everyone, not only those who voted for them.
Valentine Bobga, trader
I have voted for development. I invite Cameroonians, those who have been voted to show love and patriotism for our dear country. Development benefits the whole society.