The main opposition party in Cameroon, the Social Democratic Front (SDF), on Saturday voted Joshua Osih, 49, presidential candidate in 2018, two days after the withdrawal of the main opponent, Ni John Fru Ndi, from the race in the presidential election scheduled for October.
“Joshua Osih is declared elected candidate in the next presidential election,” said the SDF primary opposition party held in Bamenda, the capital of the English-speaking region of the North West.
Three candidates were in the running, one of whom withdrew shortly before the activists’ vote.
“From tomorrow, we will go through the 366 constituencies of this country to mobilize the party (in order) to win in October 2018,” promised Joshua Osih in a brief address to excited activists.
“Yaoundé was shaking before your vote. Now they have fever. They know that Etoudi (the usual name of the presidential palace) is within our reach, “he said.
“Our doors are wide open … We do not exclude alliances or coalitions” with other opposition candidates, he told the press.
Businessman from South West Anglophone, Joshua Osih, MP, is the first vice-president of the SDF.
Perfectly bilingual while the country remains divided on the question of English-speaking Cameroon, Mr. Osih is known for his many interventions in the media.
This new candidate of the opposition thus potentially becomes the main challenger of the candidate of the ruling party, the Democratic Rally of the Cameroonian People (CPDM), in the presidential election scheduled for the end of 2018.
On Thursday, the main opponent Ni John Fru Ndi announced that he was not going to be a presidential candidate.
“I will not present my candidacy (to the nomination of the party for the presidential election). I decided to give my place to my young cadets in the party, “he said.
On Friday, he was re-elected president of the SDF, a post he has held since its creation in 1990.
Always opposed to President Paul Biya, Mr. Fru Ndi ran against him in the 1992, 2004 and 2011 presidential elections. He boycotted the 1997 election.
Mr. Biya, 85, in power since 1982, has not yet announced his intention to seek a new principal, but his party presents him as his “natural candidate”.