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08 Apr 2020 | 06:03 AM UTC

Cameroon: Incumbent party wins March 22 partial legislative elections rerun /update 4

Incumbent CPDM party wins remaining constituencies in Anglophone regions during the March 22 legislative election rerun; election-related protests and violence possible

legal
security
CMR

Event

On Tuesday, April 7, the Cameroonian Constitutional Council announced that the ruling Cameroon People's Democratic Movement (CPDM) won the last 13 seats in the partial legislative elections rerun held in some constituencies of the Northwest and Southwest English-speaking regions on Sunday, March 22. The final results of the legislative elections show the CPDM as victor, obtaining 152 out of the 180 National Assembly seats.

Related demonstrations remain possible despite a ban on gatherings of more than 50 people enacted on Tuesday, March 31, to contain the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Context

The Cameroon Constitutional Council ordered the partial elections on February 25, after nullifying the results from the original February 9 vote due to irregularities caused by violence.

The CPDM party originally won 139 out of the 180 National Assembly seats in the February 9 elections. Although Cameroonian authorities expressed satisfaction with the conduct and turnout of the elections despite opposition boycott and separatist threats of violence in Anglophone regions, the turnout was reported to be low in both areas.

Separatist forces kidnapped 120 candidates in the Northwest and Southwest regions in the lead up to the elections. Five separatist militants were reportedly killed on February 9, as they reportedly attempted to attack polling stations.

Tensions between the country's minority English-speaking community and the national authorities are high in the Northwest and Southwest regions amid an ongoing separatist movement. The situation has escalated considerably since October 2017, when secessionists unilaterally proclaimed independence in the region. The United Nations reported that at least 50,000 Cameroonians have fled the fighting to Nigeria since the beginning of the conflict in 2016.

Advice

Individuals in Cameroon are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests or large gatherings due to the risk of associated violence, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities.