It’s no accident that Paul Biya is the second-longest-ruling head of state in the world who isn’t a monarch. Nor that Cameroon’s constitutional council confirmed today that Biya, who has been in power for 36 years, has won a seventh term in office and is set to lead the country until 2025. By any objective standard, the Cameroonian election on Oct. 7 was a farce, according to outside observers. Voter turnout was marked by apathy, and in some regions, outright fear, with credible sources saying that less than 1 percent of voters cast ballots in some areas. In the country’s English-speaking regions, harsh crackdowns on an emerging secessionist movement kept many polling stations closed and left others mostly attended by soldiers. But the country’s state media want you to know that the elections went just fine, and they can cite “outside monitors” to prove it.
Cameroon’s Constitutional Council on Friday rejected the last of 18 petitions calling for a re-run of an Oct. 7 election that the opposition said was marred by fraud, paving the way for results expected to extend President Paul Biya’s 36-year rule. The rejections clear all legal objections to the polls. Nearly two weeks after the vote, no results have been announced but under national law authorities have until Monday to do so. Biya is seeking a seventh term that would see him keep his place as one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders. The only current African president to have ruled longer is Equatorial Guinea’s Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo.
Cameroon’s elections management body says it has received 25 petitions from candidates and voters calling for the Oct. 7 presidential election to be annulled. Candidates Cabral Libii of the opposition Universe party and Joshua Osih of the opposition Social Democratic Front are among those who want the polls annulled. They allege massive fraud and ballot stuffing in favor of President Paul Biya’s ruling Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (CPDM) party. Cleric Rigobert Gabanmidanha of the Live and Peace Ministry also petitioned for the cancellation of the polls. He claims the constitutional council that certifies election results is controlled by Biya and that many opposition supporters like himself were not allowed to vote.
Cameroon: A tense, long wait for election results as social media claims unverified winners | Quartz
Over the last two years, Cameroon’s government has gained a poor reputation for being repressive when it comes to internet freedoms. It’s had one of the longest-running intermittent internet shutdowns on record of 230 days between January 2017 and March 2018 as it tried to prevent political activists in the English-speaking regions of the country from using social media platforms to share information or organize. Because of this reputation, many watchers expected the government would again block the internet in the run-up to a highly contentious election in which the president, Paul Biya, 85, is looking to extend his 36-year rule by another seven years.
Polls closed in Cameroon Sunday evening and vote counting began in an election that will likely see Africa’s oldest leader win another term amid fighting and threats from separatists that prevented residents in English-speaking regions from voting. President Paul Biya, in office since 1982, vows to end a crisis that has killed more than 400 people in the Central African nation’s Southwest and Northwest territories in more than a year. The fractured opposition has been unable to rally behind a strong challenger to the 85-year-old leader. Voting ended around 6 p.m. local time and results are expected within two weeks. “I am satisfied after performing my civic duty and particularly satisfied that the election is taking place in calm and serenity and without fighting,” said Biya after voting. “I hope that the calm will continue after results are proclaimed.” Main opposition Social Democratic Front party candidate Joshua Osih voted in Douala and called for transparency in vote counting.
Cameroon voted on Sunday in a presidential election marked by deadly violence in the country’s English-speaking regions and the cancellation of voting in at least one affected area over security fears.
Cameroon has been rocked by a separatist insurgency from within its anglophone minority, who number around five million, since last October. They accuse likely election winner President Paul Biya, 85, of oppression and are concentrated in the northwest and southwest of the majority-francophone country. Poll closed at 1700 GMT with the law stating that final results must be announced within 15 days. After voting got under way Sunday, security forces shot dead three suspected separatists who had allegedly fired at passersby from a motorcycle in Bamenda, the main city in the northwest region, a local official said.
On the morning of October 7, eight of Cameroon’s 10 regions will vote in a presidential election that could end the long-running leadership of Paul Biya, who has been in office since 1982 and was prime minister in the seven years before that. Dissidents in the remaining two regions – the South West and North West – home to Cameroon’s English-speaking minority, have threatened a showdown. “There is localised violence in the Anglophone regions … more than 1,000 men have pledged to dislodge the elections in those regions by violence,” says Hans de Marie Heungoup, senior analyst for Central Africa at the International Crisis Group. Besides fighting by Boko Haram in the Far North and North regions and rebel incursions from the Central African Republic into the Eastern region, Cameroon is largely beset by the Anglophone crisis, a separatist uprising with roots in the pre-World War I era when it was a German colony.
John Nlom has five children and wants to keep them alive. When machete-wielding men attacked a nearby school this month in a suspected strike against the teaching of French, wounded students were rushed to hospitals while frightened parents decided to flee. Nlom and his family piled onto one of the dozens of buses now leaving daily from the capital of Cameroon’s Southwest Region, joining thousands of civilians escaping bloody fighting between the government and Anglophone separatists who vow to disrupt next month’s presidential elections.
Bullets flew constantly in her hometown. Her two young children haven’t attended school in two years. She abandoned the shop she owns after soldiers arrived and started shooting. One day she saw the corpses of seven of her neighbors. Now, Pamela Njoke, 38, is among the thousands of people fleeing the English-speaking areas of Cameroon, where separatists are battling to form a new nation and the population is bracing for a surge in violence before a presidential election next month. “People are dying everywhere,” said Ms. Njoke, who waited four hours recently amid a crush of people seeking space on a packed bus to take her and her children, ages 5 and 9, out of Bamenda, her hometown, to the safety of the capital, Yaoundé. “In short, it’s horrible,” she said.
2018 is a year for general elections in Cameroon. The coming elections include a presidential election that is more than likely to be a complete mirage, a staged-managed invention to shore up the international reputation of the longtime incumbent, Paul Biya, who has ruled with an iron fist since 1982. His victory in the rigged contest is not in doubt. This is arguably as a result of the nature of Cameroon’s undemocratic politics, the corruption of the electoral machine, voter apathy and pushing through with elections despite deep political crisis in the English-speaking regions of the mostly French-speaking west African country.
When the American ambassador took up his post in Cameroon late last year, he stepped into an increasingly troubled nation, locked in battle against Islamist militants in one part of the country and armed separatists in another. And then there is the matter of its leader. Cameroon has not had a new president since Michael Jackson released “Thriller” in 1982. Under the 36-year leadership of President Paul Biya, the nation has been accused of numerous human rights abuses, including killing unarmed protesters, torturing detainees, shutting off the internet and locking up journalists. Last month, Washington’s ambassador, Peter Henry Barlerin, met with the 85-year-old president, who has taken initial steps to seek re-election in October. He told Mr. Biya that he “should be thinking about his legacy and how he wants to be remembered in the history books,” saying that George Washington and Nelson Mandela were excellent role models.
Cameroon’s Prime Minister, Philemon Yang backed by one hundred stalwarts of his native Northwest province has asked President Paul Biya to hold early presidential elections, APA can report. The motion of support and deference published Monday justified this position by the desire to see no less than the leader of the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (CPDM) completing large development projects launched over the past two years, ending the militant insurgency in the Far North and rebellions in Central African Republic border. The appeal comes after similar arguments relayed by the state-owned media.
Cameroon’s veteran president Paul Biya kept his grip on power on Thursday when official results showed his ruling party secured a landslide win in a Sept. 30 parliamentary vote. Biya, 80, has been in charge of the oil-producing Central African nation since 1982. His Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (CPDM) party won 148 of 180 seats in the National Assembly – parliament’s lower chamber – according to results published by the Supreme Court, down from the 156 seats it had in the last vote. The party already controls 86 seats in the new 100-seat Senate upper house which was created following an April election.
Cameroon’s 5.4 million voters head to the polls on Monday for legislative and local polls set to shore up the strong parliamentary majority of President Paul Biya’s ruling party. President Biya has been accused of failing to adhere to a regular timetable for elections in order to ensure victory for his own People’s Democratic Movement (RDPC) party, which holds the majority of seats in the National Assembly and municipal bodies. The terms of the current cohort of deputies elected in the last polls in 2007 expired in 2012, but have been extended on three separate occasions.
Campaigning for parliamentary and local elections is officially underway in Cameroon, amid controversy over the alleged fabrication and buying of fake voter cards ahead of the September 30 poll. Loudspeakers placed at strategic locations and in populous neighborhoods of Cameroon’s capital blare campaign messages by 35 political parties running in council and parliamentary elections this month. This message by one opposition party, the National Union for Democracy and Progress, promises to unite the country and keep it out of conflict. Meanwhile, Denis Kemlemo, a candidate with the main opposition Social Democratic Front, tells VOA he will focus on reviving the economy. “Our economy is failing due to the adoption of unrealistic budgets, absence of true social justice and snail pace development. It is for this reason that we are begging for your support during these upcoming parliamentary and council elections to help bring the change that we desperately need,” he said. But the campaigns have been overshadowed by a simmering controversy over voter registration.
The party of Cameroon’s entrenched ruler Paul Biya won 56 of the 70 contested seats in the nation’s first-ever senatorial election, the Supreme Court announced. Supreme Court President Alexis Dipanda Mouelle said Monday that Biya’s Cameroon Peoples’ Democratic Party scored 73 percent of the vote, winning seats in eight of the country’s 10 administrative regions. The opposition Social Democratic Front received 17 percent, with 14 seats in just two regions. The opposition claimed vote-rigging but international observers said instances of vote-buying and intimidation were too few to change the overall outcome of the ballot. According to the constitution, the 80-year-old Biya, in power since 1982, gets to appoint the remaining 30 members of the legislative body, ensuring total control of the newly-created 100-seat Senate.
Public debates on the convening of the Electoral College for the 14 April 2013 election of senators in Cameroon are rife. Discussions have been on whether or not the time for such election is now, is the Electoral College legitimate and are all those who qualify to participate in the poll according to the Constitution of Cameroon going to take part? While hoping that legal minds clarify the population on what the best practice should be, the bottom line is that the decision to take part ought to be political since Cameroon has embarked on a democratic process and like in all democracies, the freedom of choice remains fundamental. Another crucial factor which cannot be overlooked is the fact that; Part III of Law N° 96-06 of 18 January 1996 to amend the Constitution of 2 June 1972 says in Article 14 (1) that; “Legislative power shall be exercised by the Parliament which shall comprise 2 (two) Houses: (a) The National Assembly; (b) The Senate.” Until now, only the National Assembly existed in the country, leaving a constitutional vacuum that many thought should be filled. Another Constitutional right is that of the Head of State who decides when to convene the Electoral College for any election in the country. Thus, any debate over the timeliness of the election must take into consideration all the legal arguments.
The head of Cameroon’s election commission denied opposition candidates’ allegations of fraud in Sunday’s ballot, saying the process was “more transparent” than in the past.
“Throughout the entire process, no major incident was reported,” Fonkam Azu’u, election commission chairman, said Monday. “Nevertheless Elections Cameroon will draw the necessary lessons in order to better organize future polls.” Opposition candidate Jean de Dieu Momo told reporters he had received reports of improperly sealed ballot boxes.
Election authorities in Cameroon have disqualified half of the country’s 51 presidential candidates before the October 9 poll, prompting mild demonstrations this weekend outside the electoral commission.
Cameroon’s Supreme Court is reviewing the cases of presidential hopefuls whose candidacies were thrown out Friday by the electoral commission, also known as ELECAM. Election officials say they expect the Supreme Court to issue speedy judgments. Election Board Chairman Fonkam Azu’u said the exclusions stemmed from flaws in candidate applications.
Cameroon will hold its presidential poll October 9. The country’s longtime president, Paul Biya, is expected to seek re-election despite calls to step down. Voter registration closes Wednesday in Cameroon, just one day after President Biya signed a decree setting the poll date for October 9.
The 78-year-old president has not yet said whether he will seek another seven-year term. Ruling party officials have urged him to run. Biya’s party, the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement, or CPDM, will choose its candidate at a congress on September 15 and 16 in the capital Yaounde. Journalist Christopher Ambe in Cameroon says some want Biya to step aside.
A leading member of Cameroon’s Diaspora says recent changes in the West African country’s electoral law fall short of their demands. Cameroon’s National Assembly last week agreed to extend voting rights to the estimated five-million citizens living abroad, but only to those who are registered with their local embassy and who do not hold dual nationality.
Kenneth Ndeh, founder of the American Association of Cameroonians says the Diaspora has been asking for dual citizenship and that the recent changes are only intended to benefit President Paul Biya’s ruling party.
“There are lots of things that most Cameroonians in the Diaspora have asked for from the government both at the executive level and at the legislative level. Most Cameroonians in the Diaspora have asked for dual citizenship and basic and respectable services at the consulate level of various embassies abroad and none of these things have been implemented,” he said.
Cameroon: Parliament Adopts Groundbreaking Bill Granting Voting Rights to Cameroonians Overseas | Nouvelles – CRTV
A bill awarding voting rights to Cameroonians resideing out of the country was examined and adopted during the extraordinary session that ended this 9th of July 2011. House Speaker, Cavaye Yeguie Djibril qualified the adoption as a landmark victory for Cameroon’s democracy.
He also considered it as an indication of President Paul Biya’s determination to foster the democratic process in the country.
The issue of double nationality was also raised during deliberations but postponed. According to some sources, it shall be decided through a national referendum to be organised in 2012.