One of Africa’s oldest leaders Paul Biya, who has ruled Cameroon with an iron fist since 1982, won a landslide victory Monday in a controversial presidential election, as the government tightened security and gunfire erupted in the volatile Anglophone region.
The Constitutional Council, dominated by Biya loyalists, on Monday said the 85-year-old leader had won 71.3 percent of the ballot in the October 7 election, marred by allegations of widespread fraud, a low turnout and violence in the poll run-up.
The Council’s head Clement Atangana said opposition challenger Maurice Kamto, was a far second with 14.2 percent of the vote.
“Today, we cannot imagine a scenario where Mr. Biya will quit power normally,” said political expert Stephane Akoa.
“If Mr Biya thought about alternating power or democracy, he would not have put in place this machinery … whose main task is modify the results in such a way that Mr. Biya is the inevitable winner,” he said.
Voting was disrupted in Francophone Cameroon’s two English-speaking regions, where a separatist movement has unleashed a brutal government crackdown. Turnout here was below five percent, according to the International Crisis Group think tank.