SDF Limps to 30

May 26, 2020 marks exactly 30 years since the social Democratic Front(SDF) was born in Bamenda

The party for 30 years has been at the forefront fighting against Electoral malpractices in Cameroon and an improvement to the Electoral process. The party of Ni John Fru Ndi can be credited for an improved democratic setting in Cameroon and the formation of Elections Cameroon(ELECAM)

SDF also championed the fight against corruption in Cameroon through the Mounchipou gates which has seen top government officials arrested and tried for embezzlement of public funds

The party has in the past 30 years given government officials the run for their money with serious debates and actions in Parliament

Ni John Fru Ndi

30 years down the road the socialist party is still to get to the helm of political power in Cameroon. From 36% in the 1992 Presidential elections, the SDF was able to secure just 3.35% of the votes cast in 2018

The party has greatly lost numbers at the National Assembly and Senate. From 43 seats in 1997, the SDF can boast of just  5 seats in 2020. 7 senators as compared to 14 in 2013

The dwindling Fortune of the SDF can be attributed to many factors. A one man leadership since the inception of the party for 30 years has not given room for innovation and continues adherence to the party by it's followers

Ni John Fru Ndi is not only party chair but leads all organs of the party like National Executive Committee, NEC, National Investiture Committee, NIC, including NAC(National Advisory Council) that is to advice him

In 30 years the party lost some key personalities like Bar Ben Muna who was campaign manager for Fru Ndi in 1992. He left the party and created the Alliance of Progressive Forces, APF.

Edith Kah Wallah, strategist of the party also left for the Cameroon People's Party, CPP

The SDF strongman has not had it easy with his secretary Generals over the last 30 years from one resignation to another. The party has changed position on this subject, from election to appointment of Secretary Generals and the song is same. From Asonganyi to Dr Mrs Tamajong, same fate

The SDF largely seen as a party to articulate the plights of Anglophones was almost buried at the wake of anglophone crisis in 2016. The party that largely supported the teachers and lawyers strike with street marches organized in Buea and Bamenda was quickly outlawed by separatist fighters who demanded the party pulls off from Parliament

The total denial of the party to withdraw from Parliament and eventually taking part at the February 9 twin Elections resulted to a severe casualty; two parliamentary seats and one council in the North West Region where the party used to flourish at the polls was a total embarrassment

National Executive Committee meetings that took place in Ntarikon Bamenda were relocated to Yaounde

"Papa Power" as Fru Ndi is popularly known was kidnapped twice. The party chairman is taking a quiet moment abroad

 Honorable Joseph Banadzem and Mbah Ndam who were influential political figures in the SDF have died in a little over a year. Mbah Ndam was SDF Legal adviser while Banadzem was Leader of the party's parliamentary group

30 years on, the party does not have a parliamentary group. The first time the party is losing this big in a legislative election

The party has however criticised government for failing to implement Electoral reforms like the single ballot paper, the reduction of voter's age from 20 to 18 and a reduction in the number of days for election results to be declared. Reforms the Biya's government is not willing to implement any time soon

As the party lost 18 parliamentary seats in the North West in 2020, the party has refused to accept that it's base has been touched. This they say voter's participation was below 10%

One thing is sure that the SDF needs internal reforms to remain appealing to Cameroonians especially the youth who have been advocating for change


Ndi Tsembom Elvis

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  1. Secretaries general not secretary generals. Good piece on the SDF