President Paul Biya took Cameroon’s elections by a landslide with 71.3 percent of the vote, considerably higher than his top competitor, opposition candidate Maurice Kamto at 14.2 percent.
The Constitutional Council dismissed the nearly 20 legal challenges questioning the election’s legitimacy with claims of voter fraud, ballot stuffing, and intimidation, council president Clement Atangana reported Monday.
“The election was free, fair and credible in spite of the security challenges in the English-speaking regions," Atangana said.
However, just days before the October 7 election, peaceful protests were met with military force which led to civilian fatalities, senseless destruction, numerous injuries which only served to spark further protests.
Discouraged Cameroonians said they felt the electoral process was useless, because “Biya always wins.” African Union International Electoral observers noted that although the polls were “generally peaceful,” most parties were not represented.
Suh Emmanuel, a resident from the country’s English-speaking region told the Guardian, “His ministers voted in places they didn’t register but those of us who left Buea and Bamenda because of the war couldn’t. I am not interested in the results. Let him rule forever.”
At 85, Biya is the oldest leader in sub-Saharan Africa with a 35-year stint. Over the years, Cameroon's election authorities have faced accusations of favoring Biya, who won the 2011 polls with 75% of the votes.
The majority of Cameroonians have only known Biya as president and his latest triumph in the polls will extend his administration for another seven years.