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While the year 2018 was a transitional year for some countries, which changed their leaders through the ballot box, some other countries like Cameroon and Mali decided to renew their allegiance to their presidents.

The third part of the 2018 elections review gives a brief insight on how election was carried out in Cameroon and Mali.

Biya secures 7th term after 36 years in power

The 2018 presidential elections in Cameroon witnessed some happenings which completely changed the traditional system; election-proclamation of result, to feature a heated court exchange between the state and the opposition.

A lot of people wished this election could be the end of the 36 years rule of President Biya who took over from Ahidjo in 1982, but all hopes were dashed when he announced his intention to run.

The elections took place in a tensed atmosphere with security threats in the North West and South West regions which has plagued the country for over two years.

Barely two days to the polls, two opposition candidates, Akere Muna and Maurice Kamto formed a coalition after several failed attempts by all opposition leaders to come together to unseat Biya, marking the very first time the country has witnessed a coalition.

Amidst growing tension, the election was conducted hitch free but massively boycotted in the restive Anglophone regions due to security threats.

Twenty-four hours after the polls, Maurice Kamto declared himself winner during a press conference in Yaounde stating that figures he received indicated that he had majority of the votes. Such claims were watered down by the government stating that only the constitutional council had the right to proclaim results.

18 petitions were filed before the constitutional council by individuals and parties including Maurice Kamto and Joshua Osih seeking partial or total cancellation of the process. These petitions were termed unfounded and dismissed by the constitutional council.

The Constitutional Council later declared Paul Biya winner with 71% of votes,and he was sworn in for another 7 years term on Tuesday, November

*Ibrahim Boubacar Keita garners 67% votes in election run off

Unable to secure an all out victory in the first round, Ibrahim Boubacar was declared victorious in the presidential race, after amassing 67% of the votes in a run off with main oppostion leader Soumaila Cisse.

The constitutional court in the country gave a green light for a run off to take place on August 12 after results of the first round indicated that no candidate was able to reach the 50% threshold to be declared winner.

Meanwhile several opposition candidate rejected result tallies and called for recounts of some ballots, but the president of the court declared such petitions “inadmissible”.

Despite the fraud allegations filed by Soumaila Cisse, Keita’s major challenger in the elections , Ibrahim Boubacar was declared winner of the elections by the apex court and was sworn in on September 4,2018.

However, Mali’s vote was marred by insecurity which caused many of the voters to boycott the run-off presidential election.

Author: Emilia Nkengmeyi

Source: africanews

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Cameroon’s opposition candidate, Joshua Osih of the Social Democratic Front (SDF) has described the October 7 election as ‘apartheid’, arguing that the Anglophone people in the North West and South West regions did not vote.

Osih, who was presenting the SDF petition before the Constitutional Council, urged the court to restore order and save the country from ‘eminent collapse’.

“No election took place in the North West and South West regions…the people could not vote because they are Anglophone and that is apartheid,” Osih argued.

No election took place in the North West and South West regions…the people could not vote because they are Anglophone and that is apartheid.

The election in the English-speaking North West and South West regions was marred by low turnout and isolated incidents of unrest, as separatists sought to prevent participation in the vote.

While majority of Cameroon’s 23 million people are French-speaking, about a fifth of the population is English-speaking. The Anglophone minority has long complained about marginalization which led to protests by teachers and lawyers over a period of time.

Election petitions dismissed

The court on Thursday night also dismissed a petition by opposition candidate Maurice Kamto, which called for the cancellation of the election, on the basis of massive and systematic fraud.

The court’s president, Clément Atangana declared that ‘debates are over’ after the petitions were deemed “unjustified” by all members of the Constitutional Council “unanimously”.

This official body is responsible for studying post-election disputes before proclaiming the results of the presidential elections of 7 October.

Throughout the election and during the hearing of election petitions that started on Tuesday, Cameroon’s electoral body Elecam defended its organization of the poll and said it had not seen any proof of fraud.

Government spokesman Issa Tchiroma Bakary also dismissed allegations of fraud.

Author: Daniel Mumbere

Source: africanews

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