Cameroon Opposition Party Celebrates 25th Anniversary

Cameroon’s main opposition political party, the Social Democratic Front (SDF), on May 26, celebrated its 25th anniversary amid criticism it has not lived up to the expectations of its supporters.

While SDF communicator, Denis Kemlemo claims that his party was celebrating the liberty and freedom of speech it has brought to Cameroon since its creation in 1990, SDF vice shadow cabinet minister for tourism and culture, Effiti Tashi Hannah, said her party has failed to rise to leadership because they are victims of President Paul Biya’s more than 30 years of power.

Among other things, critics accuse John Fru Ndi, who has been chairman since the party was created, of unduly perpetuating his hold on the party leadership, but Ndi claims that his stay at the helm of the party since it was created was democratic because he has remained the choice of the people he led. Two years after the SDF was created, Ndi won 36 per cent of the votes in Cameroon’s 1992 presidential election, which the incumbent president Paul Biya won with 40 per cent of the votes as declared by the country’s Supreme Court. In 1997, the SDF won 43 seats in the 180 member parliament, but the number dropped to 16 in the current legislature.