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Cameroon's ELECAM clears Biya, eight others for October 7 polls

Cameroon's ELECAM clears Biya, eight others for October 7 polls

Cameroon

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Cameroon’s electoral body, ELECAM, on Tuesday cleared nine candidates to run for the presidential polls slated for October 7, 2018. Incumbent Paul Biya is seeking to extend his 36 years in power by a fresh seven-year mandate.

The nine include Biya who leads the ruling Cameroon Peoples Democratic Movement (CPDM). His main challengers will be Joshua Osih of the Social Democratic Front (SDF) and lawyer Akere Muna – a former head of the country’s bar association.

The other candidates to be present on the ballot paper include: Serge Espoir Matomba, Cabral Libii, Njifor Franklin, Maurice Kamto, Garga Haman and Ndam Njoya.

Over twenty candidates filed their candidacy to contest for the highest political seat of the land. ELECAM disqualified all but the nine above whiles one candidate is said to have withdrawn his candidacy.

The October 7 vote is seen as a stern test for the incumbent who has often won elections with huge margins. A current security crisis in the country’s Anglophone regions have continually affected Biya’s popularity.

Pro-independence groups under the banner of so called Ambazonia Republic continue to wage guerilla-style attacks on members of the security forces across the South-West and North-West – Anglophone regions.

Political watchers are projecting that for the opposition to effectively tackle Biya, there would need to be an alliance to back a common candidate but it remains to be seen in the next two months if they can pull off such a move.

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