President Biya Wins Seventh Term Amidst Intimidation Of Voters

By Ikenga Chronicles October 23, 2018

President Biya Wins Seventh Term Amidst Intimidation Of Voters

Cameroon’s President, Paul Biya has won a seventh term in office in polls marred by low turnout and voter intimidation, BBC reports.

Biya, 85, sub-Saharan Africa’s oldest leader, took 71.3% of the votes, according to official results.

Opposition calls for a re-run of the presidential election were rejected by the Constitutional Council last week.

Riot police were deployed on Sunday to the major cities of Yaoundé and Douala in case of opposition protests.

Cameroon’s two English-speaking provinces have been hit by more than a year of violent protests and attacks by separatist rebels which have left hundreds dead.

Two days before results were announced, Africa’s longest-serving President Teodoro Obiang Nguema of neighbouring Equatorial Guinea congratulated Biya on his win.

Biya’s nearest challenger, Maurice Kamto of the MRC/CRM, gained just 14.2%. Mr Biya took the majority of votes in all but one of Cameroon’s 10 regions, losing out to Kamto by a small margin in the Littoral region which is home to the economic capital, Douala.

Across the country, only half of Cameroon’s voting-age population took part in the polls. Tens of thousands of people were unable to cast their votes because of insecurity.

Threats of violence made against would-be voters by rebels in the Anglophone regions reportedly deterred many from casting their ballot. On Election Day, three separatists who were accused of opening fire on passers-by were shot dead by security forces. Some rebels also tried to disrupt the transporting of ballot boxes by calling for a total ban on all travel.

Voter turnout in the country’s two Anglophone regions was as low as 5%, according to the International Crisis Group. Official figures give an almost 16% turnout in the English-speaking South-West region.

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