Cameroon rules out postponing 2020 elections despite boycott threats

Tuesday December 3 2019

Officials ready to count presidential votes in Cameroon.

Cameroon President Paul Biya (centre) casts his ballot in the capital Yaoundé, on October 7, 2018 during the presidential election. Cameroon has ruled out postponing 2020 elections despite boycott threats from opposition parties. PHOTO | ALEXIS HUGUET | AFP 

NDI EUGENE NDI
By NDI EUGENE NDI
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Yaoundé,

Local elections in Cameroon will take place in February 2020 as planned, authorities have said, dismissing any possibility of another postponement of the vote.

Communication Minister and government spokesperson Rene Emmanuel Sadi told a press conference in the capital Yaoundé on Monday that President Paul Biya will have respected the law ensuring the February 9, 2020 twin municipal and legislative elections take place.

“The government is therefore calling on the leaders of political parties to demonstrate good faith, civic responsibility and national civic and republican conscience, to devote their efforts to mobilising militants to honourably take part in the upcoming polls,” he said.

“The government condemns all manoeuvres that amount to blackmail and one-upmanship, and denounces the various foreign attempts to interfere, which are in violation of our laws, and which are advocating further postponements, indefinite postponements, of announced legislative and municipal elections.”

The elections have been postponed twice and the law prohibits another postponement, Rene Sadi said, expressing surprise at the actions of some political party leaders who have threatened to boycott the elections or to demand their postponement.

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He assured voters of security during the election.

Two leading opposition parties in Cameroon have declared they will boycott the February 2020 polls to protest the government’s failure to end the conflict in the English speaking regions of the country and to effect political reforms.

Prof Maurice Kamto who came second in last year’s presidential election said his Cameroon Renaissance Movement (MRC) party will not participate in the election due to the insecurity in the Anglophone regions and weak electoral laws.

Leading opposition party in parliament, the Social Democratic Front (SDF), has also threatened to boycott the elections “if peace and security does not return” to the English speaking Northwest and Southwest regions by February.

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