But while sounding a political death knell for the UNDP leader, the rerun also confirmed the ruling CPDM’s supremacy in all but one of the nine constituencies where partial elections were held.
Although the official results have not been declared by the Supreme Court, results at the ministry of territorial administration indicate that the two seats in Benoue West, Bello’s constituency, have been won by the CPDM.
The CPDM polled 53.28 per cent of the vote while the UNDP had 43.98 per cent in the election that saw a low voter participation of 32.79 per cent. Of 84.576 registered voters only 27 229 cared to vote.
Voter apathy was also high in the Mifi constituency where the CPDM also swept the two seats, leaving the SDF orphaned in its former fief. Of 105.000 registered voters, only 40 000 voted in the constituency, giving the CPDM a landslide victory of 57.18 per cent against 34.23 per cent for the SDF.
In the Bamboutos constituency, the commanding presence of minister Kouambo Adrien and Emmanuel Nganou Djoumessi, assistant secretary general at the prime minister’s office, turned the once SDF stronghold into CPDM’s bastion. The CPDM swept all four seats in the constituency, polling a comtortable 59 per cent of the vote against SDF’s 33 per cent.
The CPDM also scored landslides in the Mefou and Akono, Sanaga Maritime, Nyong and So’o, Nkam and the Mbam et kim constituencies.
But Kumba proved to be the ruling party’s soft underbelly. The SDF rode roughshod over the CPDM which had petitioned the constitutional council to order a rerun of the elections, citing violence perpetrated by the SDF. The elections which took place under tight security saw victory for SDF’s Mboe Nkelle Palmy over CPDM’s Abel Nku Mukete. Nkelle polled 3988 votes against 7861 for Mukete.
The SDF victory puts to rest claims by the CPDM that the Meme SDO, Ivo Makoge, favoured the SDF in the 30 June elections. But Ekale Mukete Meme CPDM president continued to accuse Makoge of favouring the CPDM. He also attributed the defeat to «sophisticated rigging», vowing to challenge the qualification of the SDF list in court.
If the results are confirmed by the supreme court after scrutiny by the vote counting commission expected to begin work on Friday, the CPDM will have 149 seats, the SDF 22, UDC 5, UPC 3 and UNDP I. Earlier predictions that the SDF would win some seven seats failed. Political observers attributed the SDF’s poor show at the re-run to the resignations of top officials and their supporters after the 30 June results.
For Bello Bouba, the government rigged the elections through low voter registration. He said electors did not turn up for voting because they knew their will would not be respected. «Government organised an electoral farce to please the CPDM», he told Mutations. He said the political bureau of the UNDP would meet to decide on what action to take.
But Bello’s cry of desperation was dismissed by some militants as giving excuses for his failure. «Let Bello stop giving excuses. He has sold the party’s interests to the CPDM and so party militants sanctioned him by not voting for him», said one embittered militant to The Herald.
By Gerald Ndikum and Asong Ndifor , The Herald