October 7 Presidential Election. Observers Commend Cameroon for Credible, Transparent Polls

National and international election observatories accredited to monitor the recent presidential election in Cameroon have saluted the good conduct of the poll. Incumbent President Paul Biya ran alongside eight others in an election whose official results are still to be proclaimed by the Constitutional Council.

Shawn-Nathan EPANG

Some 45 national and international election observers have saluted the good conduct of the October 7 presidential election in Cameroon. According to the observers, the polls were free, fair, credible and transparent. It was not only fair, transparent and free but was also conducted in a serene and calm atmosphere despite security threats in the restive North West and South West Regions were armed separatist have been terrorising the population and calling for election boycott. Among the international observers were Transparency International, Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC), African Union, Pan African Institute of Electoral Assistance amongst others and a host of local observers including religious bodies.

Transparency International team which observed elections in Yaounde, Limbe, Buea and Baham stated in a press conference in Yaounde on October 8 that voting went all well with the strict respect of procedures by Elections Cameroon (ELECAM) officials. Raphael Kalfon, head of the TI delegation said all was done in a methodical manner. The various teams of TI deployed to different localities testified of a free, fair and credible election though the level of participation in Buea was described as low by the TI envoy. Understandably so because of the threats by armed separatist and the socio-political crisis that has been rocking the two English-speaking regions for several months now.

On his part, the Head of the ECCAS observatory mission, Raymond Tshibanda, in an interview with the national bilingual daily newspaper, Cameroon Tribune, saluted the maturity of Cameroonians and also the sense of responsibility of political leaders in Cameroon. The election, he said, was conducted in serenity and discipline with remarkable improvements noticed compared to previous elections.

To the Head of the Pan African Electoral Assistance Institute, Emmanuel Nadinger, Cameroon’s democratic system is well solidified and advanced. The population, he added, demonstrated political maturity while candidates stayed on the course of their political programmes during campaigns.

The CEMAC observers remarked the dignity with which votes comported and the order and discipline that characterised the conduct of the election. Emile Beatrice Epaye noted that campaigns were also carried out in a classical manner.

In all, all the observers of the October 7 polls in Cameroon were unanimous that the conduct of the election was free, fair and transparent and the results will thus be credible. They cautioned candidates to abstain from self-declaring victory and look up to the Constitutional Council, the legitimate outfit to publish election results to do so on the stipulated time.

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