Aspirants for the investiture are emerging as the SDF prepares for its elective convention slated for February 22-24, 2018 in Bamenda.
Cameroon’s leading opposition political party, Social Democratic Front (SDF), is once more on the political limelight in the country within the context of the preparations of its elective convention that will take place in Bamenda from February 22-24, 2018 and subsequent presidential election expected this year following President Paul Biya’s declaration.
The question on the lips of many political observers and pundits remains whether John Fru Ndi, the Chairman of the Social Democratic Front who had been the party’s candidate in presidential elections since 1992 would still stand for the SDF investiture primaries.
The debate is further heightened by the fact that the North West Regional Coordination of the SDF on January 20, 2018 invested John Fru Ndi as the region’s candidate for the post of National Chairman during the Bamenda elective convention.
Media organs quoted Fru Ndi as having said after his investiture, “I have accepted wholeheartedly to be your flag bearer at the forthcoming National Convention of the SDF.”
John Fru Ndi is still to further officially declare whether he would run for the investiture primaries for the designation of the SDF candidate for the upcoming presidential election. His earlier media outings indicate to a possible investiture declaration. Journal du Cameroun quoted Fru Ndi as having declared in a BBC Focus on Africa interview in London,
“In a budding democracy where you are fighting for the liberation of a people, you cannot hand over the baton in the middle of the ocean.” John Fru Ndi has been cited as having said in many occasions that he would be the SDF candidate in case the party wants him to be.
The battle to be invested the SDF candidate in the next presidential election is however, opened to all militants of the party. Senator Jean Tsomelou, SDF Secretary General said it just suffices for the militant to be up to date in all engagements with the party.
But the investiture of the party’s candidate can only be done during an extraordinary convention that has to be summoned when the electors are called to the polls for the presidential election.
Taking advantage of the provision in the SDF Constitution, the outgoing Vice President of the SDF, Senator Joshua Osih during the Littoral Regional Coordination conference of the party in Douala on January 28, 2018, declared his intention to run for the primaries dedicated to invest the SDF candidate for the 2018 presidential election.
Media reports also cite close sources in the SDF as having hinted that Hon. Joseph Mbah Ndam and Hon. Simon Forbi Nchinda are also bracing up to submit their files to run for the investiture of the SDF in the presidential election and would withdraw their intentions in case Fru Ndi decides to stand.
As the electoral process unfolds, many aspirants seeking the SDF investiture may present their intentions considering that the National Chairman of the party is not automatically its candidate for the presidential election.