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Cameroon to Release Presidential Vote Results Friday

Cameroon President Paul Byia leaves the pooling station after voting in Yaounde, Cameroon, October 11, 2004. (file photo)

The chairman of Cameroon’s Electoral Board (ELECAM) says the Constitutional Council meets today (Friday) to release the final certified results of the October 9 presidential elections.

Samuel Fonkam says criticisms notwithstanding, ELECAM was able to organize an election foreign observers described as fair and credible.

But several opposition groups are demanding the annulment of the vote, accusing ELECAM of incompetence. They say “sensitive” voter materials were mishandled by electoral officials.

Edith Kahbang Walla, leader of the opposition Cameroon People’s Party (CPP,) says other parties unanimously agree there should be fresh presidential elections within the next six months. She contends the vote was fraught with irregularities.

Fonkam disagrees. He challenges the opposition to follow the electoral laws to seek redress of their grievances.

“These political parties petitioned the court. So, how can they petition the court and even before gives a ruling on this matter, they then threaten?” he asks.

The electoral official says there were no reported acts of violence during the vote, which he says shows proof that Cameroonians viewed the election as transparent.

Organizing fresh polls may be expensive for ELECAM, according to analysts. Walla says whatever the cost, the opposition will continue to push for fresh polls to ensure the entrenchment of democracy in Cameroon.

The international poll observers included delegations from the francophone countries, the Central African Economic Community and the African Union.

Fonkam says after a winner is declared and sworn-in, his organization will begin preparations to organize parliamentary and local council elections scheduled for July of next year.