Cameroon is preparing for a new election in 2025. A major political event in more ways than one, it is this election that, more than any previous one, will determine the future of a country that has been plagued by multiple crises for several decades. Socially, economically and politically, the country is facing many difficulties, and many people are hoping for a changeover at the head of the country after the 2025 election.

Order of battle

While the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (CPDM), the ruling party, has for some time been witnessing internal battles between factions that battle silently, things are more visible on the opposition side.

Coalitions of political parties and civil society organisations have been formed, trying to rally as many parties as possible to form a bloc strong enough to stand up to the monster that is the ruling party.

At the same time, opposition leaders are encouraging people to register en masse on the electoral roll. The aim, they say, is to minimise the possibility of fraud. The more people register, the less opportunity there is for fraud.

Many were surprised by the call to register launched by Maurice Kamto, unsuccessful candidate in the 2018 election according to official results, and who had already boycotted the legislative and municipal elections of February 2020 to protest against the process that favours the ruling party, and to protest against the electoral hold-up of which he was the victim in 2018.

Electoral law

It’s no secret that the electoral law in force in Cameroon is bad. It has been tailor-made to enable the ruling party to stay in power indefinitely. Numerous denunciations by political and civil society leaders have done nothing to change this.

Twice already, the opposition and civil society have got together and proposed an electoral code to the government, which has never bothered to look into it. It is therefore astonishing to see that, despite everything, the opposition is ready to go back to the polls.

Their strategy is to encourage voters to go to the polls en masse. In his “thoughts”, which he recently began posting on social networks, Maurice Kamto shares the magic formula for neutralising electoral fraud: “Massive registration on electoral rolls, Massive vote in favour of change, Rigorous monitoring of the vote, Defence if necessary”.

“Defense in case of need”

Like Maurice Kamto, many Cameroonians believe that all they have to do is vote and monitor their vote for change to come, and for the regime to fall. But, knowing that the Biya regime will not give up easily, they plan to defend their vote if need be.

Obviously, this means organizing protests. As some Internet users have made clear, taking to the streets to demand change becomes legitimate once you have been through the voting and monitoring stages.

What chance does this have of succeeding? It’s hard to say, but why take the risk of going to an election with a law that favours one party to the detriment of the others, instead of working to adopt a better electoral code?

Cameroon’s opposition, which has already succeeded in putting aside its differences in favour of a better drafted electoral law, should continue to put pressure on the government to ensure that this law is examined, amended if necessary and adopted so that free and transparent elections can be held in 2025.


At the moment, there is nothing to reassure Cameroonians that Maurice Kamto and Cabral Libii, who came 2nd and 3rd respectively in the 2018 elections according to the results promulgated by Elections Cameroon, will be able to stand in 2025.

In the case of Maurice Kamto, since the boycott of the 2020 legislative and municipal elections prevented him from having any local representatives or members of parliament, he will only be able to stand if he manages to have at least one elected representative in 2025.

However, the possibility of an early presidential election or one organised before the legislative and municipal elections, which would immediately disqualify him, cannot be ruled out.

In the case of Cabral Libii, president of the Cameroonian Party for National Reconciliation (PCRN), divisions have recently been noted within the party: Robert Kona, one of the founders of the PCRN, has recently returned to claim leadership of the party, with the barely concealed support of the Ministry of Territorial Administration.

It cannot be ruled out that this is a manoeuvre to set his candidacy back to 2025. What is the point of registration and mass voting if those who have built their strategy on it cannot even be candidates?

The best strategy is still to fight for a fair electoral law that gives candidates the same chances of success at the ballot box.

Moudjo Tobue

Photo : AMISOM/Iwaria