Dead people voted in Cameroon: opposition

2011-10-23 21:52

Yaounde - Cameroon's main opposition party charged Sunday that "dead people" voted in October 9 elections that returned long serving president Paul Biya to office for a sixth time.

"The Supreme Court has ratified dead people's votes," the Social Democratic Front (SDF) said in a statement, two days after the highest court validated the polls and issued official results.

"Despite the requests by SDF lawyers, with proof to back them up, the Supreme Court has decided to count the votes while taking into account dead people," the statement said.

"The case of Andze Tsoungui Gilbert [former deputy prime minister] is very illustrative," it said, noting that although Gilbert died in 2007 his name appeared on a voter's roll.

SDF's candidate John Fru Ndi and six other opposition candidates have called on supporters to demonstrate massively against an election they said was rigged in Biya's favour from the start.

Biya, in power in the west African state for 29 years, was re-elected with nearly 78% of the vote, while Fru Ndi was a distant second with 11%, according to the results released by the Supreme Court.

Pretend real election

The SDF has already submitted nine challenges, of which seven were rejected. The party dropped the other two.

"Only irrational minds can dare to pretend that there was a real election in Cameroon," Sunday's statement said.

US ambassador to Cameroon Robert Jackson last week criticised the running of the election, alleging irregularities at every level.

Former colonial power France echoed the allegation on Saturday.

On Sunday, Cameroon's Parliamentary Relations Minister Gregoire Owona said he took offence at the US envoy's remarks, saying: "The tone was not very friendly. There's no need to come and give orders like that to a friend."

Jackson had recommended a number of ways the voting system could be improved to prevent fraud and intimidation.

Read more on:    paul biya  |  cameroon  |  cameroon elections  |  central africa
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