Cameroon’s President Paul Biya, who is sub-Saharan Africa’s oldest leader at 85, has easily won a seventh term, according to the Constitutional Council.
Biya won 71.3 percent of the October 7 election, far ahead of opposition candidate Maurice Kamto’s 14.2 percent, council president Clement Atangana said, announcing the official results in a state television broadcast on Monday.
The council, which was appointed by Biya, rejected all 18 legal challenges to the election and defended the process.
“The election was free, fair and credible in spite of the security challenges in the English-speaking regions,” Atangana said.
Political tension has been high in the two weeks since the vote, as Kamto, Biya’s nearest challenger, claimed victory based on his own campaign’s figures, leading the ruling party to brand him an outlaw.
On Sunday, an opposition march in Douala to protest electoral “fraud” was banned and around 30 people were arrested.
The widely-expected victory extends Biya’s 36-year rule and could see him remain in power until at least the age of 92.
The October election had very low turnout in the two English-speaking regions after more than 200,000 fled fighting between Anglophone separatists and security forces. More than a year of violent fighting in the areas has left hundreds dead.
Election observers from the African Union reported that the polls were “generally peaceful” but added that “most parties were not represented” when it came to who was allowed to oversee voting and ballot counts at polling stations.
Cameroon’s parliamentary and legislative elections were due to take place at the same time as the 7 October presidential elections but have been postponed to 2019.
Source: News Agencies