By Dibussi Tande
- If the 6 opposition parties that took part in the 1997 presidential election had formed a coalition, they would still have been unable to unseat President Biya with a mere 7.43% of total votes cast.
- If all of the 15 opposition parties that took part in the 2004 presidential election had formed a coalition, they would still have been unable to unseat Biya with a mere 29.8% of total votes cast.
- In 1997 only 1 of the 10 presidential candidates had more than 3% of votes cast.
- In 2004 only 2 of the 16 candidates obtained more than 5% of votes.
- In 2004 12 of the 16 candidates scored less than 1% of votes.
- Of the 21 prospective candidates for the 2011 presidential elections not more than 5 can reasonably aspire to up to 5% of total votes cast.
In short, opposition coalitions are not as important in presidential elections as we tend to believe (1992 being the exception...). Having every political party go it alone may actually be better (in terms of clarifying the political landscape) than creating a coalition of disparate political parties, many of which are moles of the regime in power.
Candidates for the 2004 Presidential Elections