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2018 Presidential: Osih, SDF Candidate, Finally Deposits File At ELECAM 

By Joe Dinga Pefok

Hon. Osih: “For now Fru Ndi is still capable of leading SDF”

The Social Democratic Front, SDF, candidate for this year’s Presidential election, Joshua Nambangi Osih, accompanied by the party’s National Chairman, Ni John Fru Ndi, deposited his file at the ELECAM Littoral Regional headquarters in Douala, on July 18.

The deposition of the file of the candidate of the frontline opposition party has brought relief to its supporters who had been worried, because, the election was called while he was abroad. Osih returned to the country and thus deposited the file more than 24 hours before the deadline of July 19.

Candidates battling for the Etoudi Palace had begun depositing their files with the election managing body, Elections Cameroon, ELECAM, as the July 19 deadline drew near.

The file of the incumbent Paul Biya, was deposited at the ELECAM Headquarters in Yaounde on Friday, July 13, by a delegation led by the CPDM Secretary General, Jean Nkuete.
This came barely a few hours after President Biya announced his candidature on twitter rather than the traditional State-owned CRTV.

After the CPDM deposited Biya’s file, Dr Alain Fegue of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement, CRM, also deposited the file of the party’s flag bearer, Prof Maurice Kamto.

The Post leant that Paul Biya’s file was the third file to be deposited at the ELECAM’s headquarters in Yaounde. The first candidate to deposit his file at the election management body was Beboro Kekomo, a strange name on the Cameroon political scene.

He reportedly deposited his file as an independent candidate. It remains to be seen when ELECAM would have examined the file, whether the said Kekomo fulfilled the conditions to be an independent candidate.

The second candidate to deposit his file at ELECAMwasBertinKisob, of ‘Parti de la Justice Sociale’.
Meanwhile,most of the Presidential aspirants are all expected to deposit their files this week, before midnight on Thursday, July 19 at the National or Regional headquarters of ELECAM.

Before President Biya convened the electorate on October 7, over a dozen candidates had declared their intention to challenge him at the poll.

The candidates include:Hon Joshua NambangiOsih of the SDF, Barrister AkereTabengMuna of the NOW platform, Cabral Libii of PartiUniverse, Serge EspoireMatombaof PURS, FranklineAfanwiNdifor of NPPC, Paul Eric Kingue, Bernard Njonga, HilaireKamga of ‘Offre Orange and Barrister Emmanuel AshuAgbor, of the Reform Party.
More Candidates

Meanwhile, following the convening of the electorate, more candidates are coming out. For example, the Douala based former MP of Wouri Centre Constituency, Jean Jacques Ekindi, who has been the National President of ‘Mouvement Progresssistes’ since its creation has announced his candidature.

This, will however, not be his first participation in a presidential election. Ekindi aka Lion Chaser, ran in the 2011 presidential election,scoring 0.381 percent of votes.

However, observers are waiting to see if Dr Adamou Ndam Njoya of the CDU and Fritz Ngo of MEC will compete in the 2018 presidential election or if they will rather emulate the example of Ni John Fru Ndi and handover the baton to a younger comrade.

Political scientists, meanwhile, are also closely watching the likes of Albert Dzongang of ‘Dynamique’, Garga Haman Adji of ADD, OlivierBilé of UFP among others.
It would be recalledthat 23 candidates participated in the 2011 presidential election, after ELECAM had rejected some aspirants.

No Foreign Funding Of Candidates

According to ELECAM officials, the file each presidential candidate must contain a declaration of his candidature, a letter of investiture by a legalised political party or proofs of required 300 signatures for an independent candidate, certificate of national to prove that a candidate is of Cameroonian nationality, and proof that the candidate has been resident in the country in the last 12 months.

The candidate must be at least 30 years of age, while there is no maximum age limit.

Also, a candidate for the presidential election in Cameroon must not be funded by any foreign country or foreign interest. This was a pretext that the regime recently tried to cause to disqualifythree opposition candidates: Joshua Osih, Maurice Kamto and AkereMuna, when some pro-regime media organs reported that the US Embassy has given the three candidates over FCFA 2 billion to fund their election campaigns.

After the news was published, Hon Robert BapoohLipot of the UPC, called for the disqualification of the candidatures of the trio.