Cameroon’s Constitutional Council rejected the last of 18 petitions calling for a re-run of the October 7 election the opposition said was marred by fraud, paving the way for results expected to extend President Paul Biya’s 36-year rule.
The rejections clear all legal objections to the polls. Nearly two weeks after the vote, no results have been announced but under national law authorities have until Sunday to do so.
Biya is seeking a seventh term that would see him keep his place as one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders. The only current African president to have ruled longer is Equatorial Guinea’s Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo.
Allegations of voter intimidation, violence and ballot-stuffing cast doubt over the election, prompting the three main opposition candidates and other prominent political figures to call for the cancellation of results.
“We reject in totality the results” of the elections, said Paul Eric Kingue, campaign manager for opposition candidate Maurice Kamto, whose call for a re-run of the poll in seven regions was rejected on Thursday. “Paul Biya is not our president.”
Candidates Joshua Osih and Cabral Libii asked for the results to be cancelled and the election to be re-run. The court rejected Libii’s appeal because it was filed an hour after the deadline.
Osih’s appeal was rejected in the early hours of Friday.
“We as Cameroonians should be ashamed of what is currently happening in front of this high jurisdiction we call the Constitutional Council,” Nkou Mvondo Prosper, President of Libii’s Univers party said.
Elections went ahead with scattered instances of violence in the Anglophone South West and North West regions where a separatist insurgency is trying to split from Yaounde. In those regions, which hold about a quarter of the country’s 24 million population, most did not vote for fear of violence.