World, Africa

Cameroon awaits parliamentary, municipal poll results

Several cases of fraud reported by observers and political parties

Peter Kum, Felix Tih   | 10.02.2020
Cameroon awaits parliamentary, municipal poll results File photo

YAOUNDE, Cameroon

The vote count in Cameroon continues after Sunday's parliamentary and municipal elections, marred by the boycott in the central African country’s two English-speaking regions. 

Several cases of fraud have been reported by observers and political parties. 

"The security forces arrested a lady at a polling station in Douala with around 40 voter ID cards in her possession. She is being interrogated, "Erik Essousse, director-general of Elections Cameroon (Elecam), told Anadolu Agency on Sunday. 

He added that the head of a polling station in Kumba, Southwest Region, was arrested due to alleged fraud. 

National and international observers said that several people did not take part in the elections, either because of the Anglophone crisis or out of respect for the boycott called by opposition leader Maurice Kamto. 

In the English-speaking regions, clashes took place between security forces and separatist groups, who also called for a boycott. 

"I believe that the voter turnout is far below that of the presidential election last October," said Maxi Mbe Ngo, president of the Central Africa Human Rights Defenders Network (REDHAC). 

After casting his vote in the capital Yaounde, Cameroonian President Paul Biya called on the citizens to fulfill their civic duty by going to vote, "contrary to the calls for the boycott of certain small political parties." 

The results of the municipal elections will be declared three days after the elections, while the results of parliamentary polls will be announced by the Constitutional Court within 20 days.  

Grievances

Cameroon has been marred by protests since 2016, with residents in English-speaking regions saying they have been marginalized for decades by the central government and the French-speaking majority. 

The protesters are calling for a return to federalism or independence of English-speaking Cameroon. 

Reports claim that hundreds have since been killed and several thousand displaced since clashes erupted roughly three years ago. 

A national dialogue took place last year that focused on the grievances of the English-speaking populations of the Northwest and Southwest regions of the Central African country. 

In Nov. 2019, Kamto called for a boycott of the country’s legislative and municipal elections. He said the country is not ready for elections. 

The elections had been postponed twice due to growing threats from armed separatists in the country’s two English-speaking regions.


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