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22 Oct 2018 | 04:10 PM UTC

Cameroon: Biya declared winner of October 7 presidential elections /update 4

Incumbent President Paul Biya officially declared winner of October 7 presidential elections on October 22; protests likely in coming days

security
CMR

Event

On Monday, October 22, the Cameroonian Constitutional Court announced that incumbent President Paul Biya had won the October 7 presidential elections with 71.28 percent of votes cast. Opposition leader Maurice Kamto reportedly received 14.23 percent of votes, followed by Cabral Libii with 6.28 percent of votes.

As of Monday, tensions continue to run high throughout the country following a spate of violent incidents over the weekend of October 20-21. Local sources indicate that thousands of security forces were deployed at strategic points throughout the capital Yaoundé on Monday. After reports emerged that opposition leaders had called for demonstrations to be held in Yaoundé, residents of the capital reportedly received SMS messages from local authorities stating that no demonstration had been authorized in the city.

Protests and violence are to be anticipated across Cameroon in the coming days. A continued heavy security presence can be expected throughout major urban centers in the near term. Political demonstrations, as well as attacks by separatist militants, cannot be ruled out.

Context

On October 21, security forces dispersed opposition supporters gathered to condemn the government's crackdown on suspected separatists in the Northwest and Southwest regions, as well as to highlight alleged electoral fraud. As many as 30 protesters and two journalists were arrested along the march route. Dozens of heavily armed police also encircled the residences of two opposition supporters. Social media and messaging platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook, and Twitter had also reportedly been slowed by Internet service providers on October 21.

Eighteen requests, including some from all three major opposition candidates, were sent to the Constitutional Court to annul all or part of the October 7 vote; all 18 were rejected. The opposition candidates cited incidents of voter fraud and vote-rigging. Cameroon's electoral body has denied all claims of election interference.

Advice

Individuals in Cameroon are advised to closely monitor developments to the situation and avoid any rallies, protests, or other large public gatherings due to the potential for unrest. Abide by all instructions issued by the local authorities and your home government.

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