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Warring MANIDEM Refuses To Invest Candidate For 2018 Presidential 

By Joe Dinga Pefok

The Pioneer National President and former Presidential flag bearer of MANIDEM, Anicet Ekane, says his faction will not be investing a candidate in the 2018 Presidential election.

He made the declaration to the media in Douala on Tuesday, July 17, as political parties battled to meet ELECAM’s July 19 deadline for the submission of the files of all Presidential hopefuls.

During the July 17 press conference, Ekane bemoaned that the opposition parties are going into the 2018 Presidential poll in splinters, instead of forming a coalition to challenge the incumbent.

He also asserted that the escalating Anglophone Crisis necessitates the postponement of such an election.
However, political observers in Douala were quick to brush aside Ekane’s reasons for not partaking in the 2018 presidential race.

According to them, Ekane shouldn’t use the absence of an opposition coalition or the escalating Anglophone Crisis to back out of the poll.

They said the erstwhile MANIDEM National President has never bothered about the aforementioned issues.

According to the political scientists, Ekane, has over the years, been against MANIDEM joining any political alliance with any opposition party in Cameroon under the pretext that they have ‘neo-colonial ties.

This, they said, explains why MANIDEM has never been part of any opposition coalition in Cameroon since its legalisation in 1995.

As regard the Anglophone Crisis, it is an open secret that Ekane is one of the few politicians who has persistently refused to accept that there is an Anglophone Problem in Cameroon.

He said as a ‘UPCist’, there is nothing like Anglophone or Francophone in Cameroon.

Investiture Problem

Meanwhile, to the political observers, the real reason why Ekane has hesitated to compete in the 2018 Presidential election is the fear that the Constitutional Council will reject his candidature, over the issue of investiture in MANIDEM.

This is because the legal National President of MANIDEM, Dieudonné Yebga, had vowed to challenge Ekane’s candidature at the Constitutional Council, if he sends in his file as MANIDEM’s candidate.

This is further compounded by the fact that one of the important documents that a Presidential candidate of a political party is supposed to include in his file is a letter of investiture by the party, signed by its National President.
Ekane knows that if he signs his own investiture letter as National President, Yebga will petition ELECAM and the Constitutional Council.

Yebga, who like Ekane is one of the founding fathers of MANIDEM, was elected at the party’s congress in May 2015, as the new National President of the party.

The Ministry of Territorial Administration was formally notified of the change of leadership in MANIDEM.
In February 2016, the Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralisation, René Emmanuel Sadi, officially took note of the change of leadership in MANIDEM and Yebga’s mandate as National President has not yet ended.

Meanwhile, the MANIDEM faction led by Yebga is also not sending in a candidate for the presidential election.
A few months ago, Yegba declared that it makes no sense for MANIDEM, which has never won a Council or Parliamentary seat since 1995, to continue sending in a candidate in the presidential election.

Rather, he said MANIDEM should get into an alliance to support the candidate of an opposition party or group, with the understanding that the group will support MANIDEM at Legislative and Municipal elections in some localities.
It is alleged that Yebga’s faction of MANIDEM will join the NOW Movement to support the candidature of Akere Muna.