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.
Eighty-year-old Biya has served as president of Cameroon since 1982.
The ruling party is looking to “consolidate the hegemonic majority it has enjoyed since the 2007 elections”, said political commentator Mathias Nguini Owona.
The main goal of the opposition parties, including the Social Democratic Front which currently holds 16 seats, is to not lose ground in the Assembly and in the municipalities, he added.