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CPDM At Crossroads Over Ordinary, Extraordinary Congress 

By Yerima Kini Nsom

Jean Nkuete: Smiling over confusion ?

Jean Nkuete: Smiling over confusion ?

Officials of the ruling CPDM party are still at the crossroads whether to organise an ordinary or an extraordinary congress of the party as the mandate of its Chair, Paul Biya, expires next week.

Recently, The Post learnt, officials of the party’s secretariat forwarded two documents to the party’s boss to that effect. One of them, going by sources at the secretariat, is a proposal for an ordinary congress, while the other one proposes an extraordinary congress.

Party insiders hold that if President Biya heeds the proposal for an ordinary congress, it will be held next week, that is, from September 14 to 16. If he decides to embrace an extraordinary congress, it will take only one day on September 14.

But some CPDM bigwigs, who spoke to The Post under guise of anonymity, said they will not hesitate to vote for an ordinary congress.

“An ordinary congress will be an opportunity for us to thrash out a lot of pending issues that ail the smooth functioning of the party”, one of them remarked.

He said an ordinary congress will ensure the overhauling of the Central Committee of the party that has lost many members since the last congress took place in 2011.

The proponents of an extraordinary congress of the party argue that an ordinary congress will be expensive, cumbersome and time-consuming for the moment.

“An ordinary congress will take, at least, three days with huge spending, while an extraordinary one will be a one-point agenda occasion that will be held in a single day”, one of them argued.

Those who have settled for the extraordinary congress, say what is crucial for the party is the renewal of the mandate of the Chair of the party, Paul Biya, and nothing else.

By virtue of Article 27 of the internal regulations of the party, it is incumbent on the outfit to organise a congress as time ticks away to the expiry of Biya’s mandate next week.

Tongues within the party are wagging as to which congress it will organise. Chairman Biya is yet to give his final word. He is currently on a private visit to Europe. But there is every indication that a CPDM party congress will be organised soon.

Advisers of the CPDM Secretary General, Jean Nkuete, are said to be busier than usual. They are said to be preparing for the occasion while waiting for the Chairman to give his final word as to which congress should be organised.

The three advisers of the CPDM scribe are: Prof. Dieudonné Oyono, who is the former Rector of the University of Douala, Prof. Paul Celestin Ndembiyembe, varsity don at the Advanced School of Mass Communication ASMAC, and Fabian Monkam of the CPDM Communication Unit.

More so, many CPDM bigwigs are more frequent in their visits to the party secretariat which is now situated in downtown Yaounde close to the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources.

On September 7, for example, the Director of the CPDM Academy cum Divisional Coordinator of the party for Kupe Manuenguba in the Southwest Region, Prof. Elvis Ngolle Ngolle, was spotted at the CPDM headquarters among other officials.

These developments come on the heels of an audience President Biya granted Jean Nkuete last August. Many party officials said they need to have a congress to renew the mandate of the incumbent Chairman at all cost.

The last extraordinary congress of the party took place in 2006 during which Biya was re-elected Chairman.

Despite agitations from some few CPDM officials in Yaounde, insiders say Biya will have no challengers in the bid to succeed himself at the helm of the party.

But one official, Saint Eloi Bidoumg, says he will challenge the incumbent in a bid to grab the coveted post.

In 2011, one of the party’s bigwigs, Rene Ze Nguele, who challenged Biya during the congress, was humiliated in a crushing defeat.

Observers hold that the opposition against the incumbent was stage-managed by the party to play to the gallery with the impression that there is freedom in the party.

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