Cameroon Presidential Poll: US Denies Funding Opposition Candidates
The Spokesperson of the US Embassy in Yaoundé, Cameroon, Lee McManis, has said that news circulated by some newspapers on their alleged funding of political opposition parties in view of upcoming Presidential election is unverified, false and unprofessional.
In a statement attributed to the Embassy’s spokesperson, Lee McManis, to the newspapers that carried the articles such as La Meteo, Le Soir among others, the Embassy she has never been approached to comment on such an allegation and that the reports were false.
“In reference to the false information published in your article on alleged U.S. financing of Cameroonian opposition parties’ political campaigns, your reporter did not request comment from the U.S. Embassy Spokesperson prior to your publishing. The U.S. government has not contributed and does not intend to contribute financially to any political party or parties, be they governing or opposition,” the statement partially read.
The Spokesperson also said is it part of their diplomatic activities to meet with people of all works of life. Such meeting if any should not be seen today as having an ulterior motive when officials meet even politicians.
“As part of its diplomacy, U.S. government officials routinely meet with a wide range of people of any host country, including government leaders and other officials, opposition party leaders and members, the press, religious leaders and members, and civil society representatives”, Lee McManis said.
The spokesperson accused the media of unprofessionalism as it published the story without seeking the embassy reaction.
He said: “The U.S. Embassy would like to underscore that your reporter did not contact the Public Affairs Section, which, like any foreign diplomatic mission, receives all questions from media outlets and responds promptly and appropriately.
“ Had your reporter followed the professional journalistic practice by contacting the source before publishing an article, the Spokesperson would certainly have confirmed that the information you intended to publish, and eventually did publish, was entirely false.”
The statement concluded that, “The United States has no preferred candidate or party with respect to Cameroon’s elections. We adhere to the position that it is the will of the Cameroonian people to decide on their leader and that elections should be free, fair, and credible elections so that the will of the people is heard”
Before this denunciation, one of the candidates designated by his party, Hon. Joshua Osih told La Nouvelles Expression newspaper that he has never taken money from the US Ambassador as purported by some newspapers.
Joshua Osih thinks that it is just a smear campaign against him and other candidates like Akre Muna and Maurice Kamto, by someone or group of persons afraid of his political popularity in the face of upcoming polls.
It is said by the newspapers that the three men collected over 2 billion fcfa and were promised that President Paul Biya will not stand in upcoming elections