What started as rumor is fast becoming a reality. The Etoudi tenant is at work again, preparing the grounds for another surprise snap presidential election. The reason for snap elections, The Vanguard learnt from authoritative government sources, is the fear of the unknown generated by the signals that opposition parties are inching towards a unique candidate.
Biya is said to be particularly scared by information that Professor Mathias Eric Owona, son of former Minister Joseph Owona is being groomed as the unique candidate.
Professor Eric Owona, a political science lecturer at the University of Yaounde II, Soa has been very vocal against the regime especially the management of elections. His father is in no hurry to stop him, arguing that Eric Owona is mature enough to know what he wants.
Owona's son is said to be particularly confident he will win because of the excellent relationship he has with the SDF and Ni John Fru Ndi. The SDF Chairman is said to have a very cordial relationship with the Owona's family from the day Joseph Owona agreed to have breakfast with him at Ntarinkon.
The SDF was later to propose Owona for appointment into ELECAM, a proposal the Biya Regime turned down. Eric Owona's good relations with the SDF was recently demonstrated by his acceptance to present a paper during the launching of Cameroun O'Bosso an opposition grouping led by Kah Walla, a NEC member.
Cameroon O'Bosso's launching is said to have sent shock waves down the spines of the Regime, his spin-doctors and election acrobats not withstanding.
Kah Walla is the woman that "rubbished" Nji Fidelis over "Code Biya" and tore the Regime to shreds. During Cameroun O'Bosso launch she announced 11 grievances the Cameroon electorate has against the Biya Regime. These include non-publication of census results, the fact that voting age is 20 instead of 18 years, yet 18 being the age when a Cameroonian is considered an adult and obliged to own a national identity card.
Cameroon O'Bosso is against a one round Presidential election system and also the rejection of independent candidates. The new organization also damns ELECAM which is manned by well known CPDM cohorts, one of them being a politburo member. Faced with such a dire situation the Biya Regime is taking the chances. The idea is to conduct snap elections and take the opposition off-guard.
In order to win the support of France, Biya accepted the idea of a Vice President to whom he claims he will hand over power but which he won't do in order not to be caught in the same situation of Ahidjo who relinquished power to him. Biya pundits believe he will wait to rule until Franck completes his studies on political science in a Swiss academy or Junior comes of age. All these point to the fact that Biya will contest the next elections as CPDM "Natural Candidate".
There is so much at stake for him that he is taking no chances. After securing ELECAM, Biya considered it necessary to ensure that its commissions are manned by former Divisional Officers who until death do them part, are still awaiting one form of appointment or another. An excellent example is former Meme SDO, Makoge who is now Secretary General of a council, currently serving SDOs who have excelled in electoral fraud, has also been allowed to remain in office even when they are due retirement.
The retirement of some top judiciary officials loyal to the Regime has also been put on hold so that they can give Biya another 7-year mandate before being dumped into the trash can.
A perfect example is Alexis Dipanda Mouelle - Dipanda Mouelle is the President of the Supreme Court who told Cameroonians in 1992 that his hands were "tied". He presided at the proclamation of the Presidential Elections of that year widely believed to have been won by Union for Change Candidate, John Fru Ndi. After reading out the plethora of irregularities that characterized the 1992 Presidential Elections, he announced to the consternation of the whole world that the law didn't give them the authority to annul the results. In other words his hands were tied.
Dipanda Mouelle was supposed to go on retirement this year, but has been told to wait till 2010. Another story indicator that snap Presidential Election will take place this year are the marathon visits of PM Yang to both the Northwest and Southwest Regions.
While in the South West, he promised the tarring of the Kumba-Mamfe Road. Why make such a promise if not as part of campaign to solicit for votes. What is at stake that such a promise should be made now? It is obvious that when PM Yang visits Bamenda next week he will make similar promises, this time about the famous Ring Road.
Biya had deceived North-Westerners that it was going be tarred and he was going to personally supervise it. The hope that the ring road would be tarred in Biya's era is not far from vain dreams of a hyena northwest population should bear in mind.
The PM's visit is the more suspicious and telling because Inoni's home-comings of newly appointed members of government have since been banned. The question on almost every lip in the North West is if the PM's visit of November 4, 2009 is not a campaign trip.
Political analysts have observed that for Biya to organize snap - elections, he must begin by amending the constitution again. Although critics argue that snap elections are unconstitutional a despot like Biya does what is convenient for him, not what the law says. Yet to be confirmed reports say Biya shall tour the country in January and that Yang's visits after home coming had been proscribed are intended to take the political temperature.