Cameroon: Paul Biya Re-elected As President

Cameroon’s Supreme Court has announced on Friday that the incumbent president Paul Biya was re-elected in the Oct. 9 presidential polls.

Paul Biya, the candidate for Cameroon’s ruling party the Democratic Rally for Cameroonian People, RDPC, won about 78 percent of the votes cast in Oct. 9 out of 23 candidates. His closest challenger, Ni John Fru Ndi, won only 11 percent of the votes.

Some 7.5 million Cameroonians from the country’s 10 regions had been registered to take part in the elections.

Statistics released in 2010 by Cameroon’s foreign ministry indicated that close to 4 million Cameroonians live outside the country, but only 25,771 were registered to take part in the polls.

Although critics insist his 29 years of rule has left Cameroon in sluggish growth, prevalent poverty and chronic corruption despite its vast natural resources, the longtime ruler won again.

Analysts say his highly centralized style of governing has weakened state institutions, while affording a certain stability to the central African country despite its ethnic, religious and linguistic rifts.

Ten days before the poll, unidentified gunmen in military fatigues blockaded a main bridge in the commercial capital, Douala. They exchanged gunfire with security forces and carried signs calling Biya a dictator and demanding he step down.

Just two days later, police arrested more than 100 protesters seeking independence for Cameroon’s English-speaking western regions.

He has been consistently re-elected as the National President of the RDPC; he was re-elected at the party’s second extraordinary congress on 7 July 2001 and its third extraordinary congress on 21 July 2006.

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