Friday, 6 April 2018

President Paul Biya Tightens Grip On Cameroon With Party Win

The ruling Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (CPDM) has won the Senate elections, further consolidating President Paul Biya’s stranglehold on power.

President Biya has been in power for 35 years and his party went into the country’s second-ever Senate election, almost certain of a sweeping majority.

According to the official results of the March 25 poll proclaimed by the Constitutional Council in Yaoundé on Thursday, CPDM won in nine of the 10 regions, garnering 63 of the 70 elective seats of the Upper House of Parliament.

The leading opposition, the Social Democratic Front (SDF) of Mr John Fru Ndi that competed in five regions, won seven seats.
President Paul Biya Tightens Grip On Cameroon With Party Win
Seven other parties, including the National Union for Democracy and Progress (NUDP) headed by Mr Bello Bouba Maïgari, Mr Adamou Ndam Njoya’s Cameroon Democratic Union (CDU) and the Cameroon National Salvation Front of Communication minister Issa Tchiroma Bakary, did not win any seats.

SDF and CDU had petitioned the Constitutional Council to cancel the vote in the Southwest and the West, where they alleged fraud, but both petitions were thrown out.
Elections into the Upper House of Parliament do not take place by universal suffrage. Close to 10,000 municipal councillors voted in the one-round poll to elect 70 of the 100 members of the legislative institution. The remaining 30 will be appointed by President Biya.

Though SDF has 10 per cent of the elected senators, it will need at least 10 per cent of the entire house to be able to constitute a parliamentary group and be represented in the bureau of the House. It is highly expected that the president will pick three more members of the opposition amongst his 30 nominees.

The March 25 vote was the first of at least four elections to take place in Cameroon this year. Should the electoral calendar be respected, the country will also organise council, legislative and presidential elections later this year.

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