News / Africa

Turnout Low in Cameroon Presidential Poll

A supporter of Cameroon President Paul Biya stands next to a giant election campaign ball in Yaounde, Cameroon, October 8, 2011.
A supporter of Cameroon President Paul Biya stands next to a giant election campaign ball in Yaounde, Cameroon, October 8, 2011.

Cameroonian President Paul Biya called on his country to be "indulgent" of any imperfections in the voting process, as he cast his ballot in Sunday's presidential election.

Although results may not be announced for two weeks, Mr. Biya is widely expected to win a new seven-year term, extending his 29-year rule over the central African state.  

Mr. Biya said the world is not perfect, but he said that despite any irregularities, there is no intention to cheat. He is running against a record 22 candidates. His most high-profile challenger, John Fru Ndi of the Social Democratic Front, received only 17 percent of the vote in 2004.

Observers said turnout was extremely low Sunday, with many Cameroonians expressing apathy, saying the winner is already decided.

Nationwide figures are not available, but observers said polling stations were conspicuously uncrowded, with some reporting fewer than 15% of registered voters turning up.

Voting also got off to a late start. In some cases, polling stations opened hours behind schedule. And some voters told the Associated Press they were issued more than one voting card, potentially allowing them to vote multiple times.

Two military policemen were killed Sunday by unidentified armed gunmen in the oil-rich Bakassi peninsula. The much-disputed region near the Nigerian border is home to separatist rebels, and has seen a number of shootings and kidnappings. The French news agency (AFP) quotes Cameroon's interior minister as saying the officers had been deployed to the area to "secure the electoral process."

The opposition has accused Cameroon's electoral commission of favoring the ruling party, and there have been complaints about irregularities on voter lists. A top member of the election board, Elecam, was fired days before Sunday’s vote on allegations of violating the oath of office by campaigning for President Biya.

Mr. Biya won the 2004 election with 70 percent of the ballots.

The 78-year-old leader has ruled Cameroon since 1982. In 2008 he eliminated constitutionally mandated term limits so he could run for re-election this year. That move sparked street protests in which at least 40 people were killed.  

Cameroonians remain frustrated by high unemployment and the rising cost of living.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

You May Like

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid