Supporters of the opposition Cameroon Renaissance Movement's (CRM) candidate Maurice Kamto took to the streets of the capital Yaoundé Monday to celebrate their claimed victory in the Sunday presidential election.
Prof Kamto was one of seven candidates up against the incumbent President Paul Biya, who was running on the ruling Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (CPDM) ticket.
Following his victory claim, Prof Kamto invited President Biya to organise a peaceful power handover.
Transfer of power
“I have received a clear mandate from the Cameroonian people which I will firmly defend right to the end and I want the national and international community to bear witness to this historic event that has ushered in a democratic political change in our country,” Prof Kamto said.
“I invite the outgoing president of the Republic to organise a peaceful transfer of power in order to spare Cameroon of a post-election violence which our country does not need. I assure him and his entire household that I will guarantee their immunity and security,” he said said as his supporters screamed in joy.
Prof Kamto said he had “accomplished his goal” and was thankful to all Cameroonians who stood by him.
He also appealed to the military to exercise their republican duties by ensuring the solemn and historic handover process was successful.
The Constitutional Council, an organ that watches over the regularity of presidential and parliamentary elections, is expected to proclaim the official results within a period not exceeding 15 days from the close of the polls, according the electoral code.
President Biya, at the helm of the Central African state since 1982, was seeking a seventh mandate that would see him extend his 36-year stay at Unity Palace (the state house) in Yaoundé to 2025.
Electoral agency, Elections Cameroon (ELECAM), said the election had been conducted without any hitches.
“Voting operations as a whole were conducted hitch-free within the country and in the diaspora,” said ELECAM Director-General Erik Essousse
The election took place against a backdrop of threats from anglophone separatists who have been clamouring for secession and the creation of the Republic of Ambazonia. They separatists had warned that they would not allow any election organised by the Yaoundé regime to take place in “their country”.
Dr Essousse said 6,619,548 voters were dully enrolled in the country and in the diaspora, but did not give the tally of those who actually voted.