Biya and the CPDM: Justifying successful failure in leadership 1

The ruling CPDM party has attempted an explanation on the failure to hold a congress this year. The national chairman and members of the political bureau met in Yaoundé and agreed that the Eseka train tragedy, the economic and financial crisis in the country and the fight against the Nigerian Islamic sect, Boko Haram have made it impossible for the party to hold a national congress in 2016 as demanded by the rules and regulations governing the party.

Elected in 2011 for a five-year term as Chairman of the Cameroon People Democratic Movement, CPDM, Paul Biya’s mandate expired in September 2016 including those of the political bureau, members of the Central Committee and the National Offices of the women and young wings of the party.

For some two months now, the ruling party and all its activities have been illegal. It was to end this illegal situation that the National Chairman of the CPDM summoned on Thursday a meeting of the political bureau of the party.  Since there has never been any distinction between the party and the state, the meeting held at the Presidential Palace in Yaoundé.

Of the 23 members of the Politburo, four were conspicuously absent for various reasons including former Minister Marafa Hamidou Yaya charged for corruption by the regime. Four resolutions were adopted authorizing the extension for an indefinite period the different mandates of highly placed members of the party under Article 18 of the Basic Laws of the CPDM. They included:

– The resolution extending the period for holding of the CPDM National Congress;

– A resolution extending the mandate of the National President, until the holding of the next Congress of the CPDM;

– The resolution extending the mandate of the members of the Central Committee and Political Bureau, until the holding of the next Congress of the CPDM;

– The resolution extending the mandates of members of the National Office of the WCPDM and YCPDM until the holding of the next national congress.

The reasons for the postponement were noted as follows:

– The Congress Hall with the capacity to host such forum is now under construction;

– The fight against Boko Haram is still financially and humanly demanding despite the tangible results achieved so far;

– Political activities are not necessary at a time when Cameroonians are still reeling from the Eseka train disaster;

– The upcoming Women’s Africa Cup of Nations this November will require the Cameroonian youth many of whom are CPDM militants to inject a lot of energy to make this event a resounding success;

– The current austerity measures taken by the nation needs rigor in the management of available resources;

– The Sub Saharan region is in peril and needs Cameroon vigilance at all times.

By Soter Tarh Agbaw-Ebai with files from