Cameroon Court Rejects Opposition Bid to Toss Election Results

Posted October 20th, 2011 at 6:45 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Cameroon's Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by opposition parties to annul the country's recent presidential election because of claims of widespread fraud and irregularities.

Several opposition candidates on Monday asked the court to overturn the results of the election, which was widely expected to give a a sixth term to President Paul Biya.

The court's rejection of the appeal now clears the way for Cameroon's electoral commission to release official results of the election on Friday.

The opposition accuses Cameroon's electoral commission of favoring the ruling party. There have also been complaints about irregularities on voter lists.

Election observers said turnout at the October 9 election was extremely low, with many Cameroonians expressing apathy over a vote whose result seemed pre-determined.

Earlier this week, seven opposition candidates warned that they would call for their supporters to protest in the streets if the election results were not overturned and new elections held.

The United Nations applauded Cameroon for conducting the election in a “peaceful manner,” but some international observers raised concerns over the voting process, including severe delays and problems with voting cards.

While President Biya admitted that there may be “imperfections” in the voting process, he pleaded for patience, saying his government has no intention of cheating.

The 78-year-old leader has ruled Cameroon since 1982. In 2008, he eliminated constitutionally mandated term limits so he could run for re-election this year. That move sparked street protests in which at least 40 people were killed.