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.
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.