Biya regime to hold postponed vote in Southern Cameroons on March 22 0

Cameroon will hold a legislative election in parts of the country’s conflict-ravaged English-speaking regions on March 22 after the first attempt last month was annulled, the presidency said Friday.

Voting in 11 electoral districts in the anglophone North-West and South-West would be “convened on Sunday, March 22 in order to continue the election of MPs to the National Assembly,” a decree signed by President Paul Biya said.

The two anglophone regions have been rocked by deadly violence as armed separatists campaign for independence from the rest of Cameroon, which is majority French-speaking.

Separatist fighters had called on people in the two regions not to take part in nationwide municipal and legislative elections on February 9, issuing threats to anyone who planned to vote.

Clashes between the separatists and the army multiplied, according to several NGOs, though only one incident — in the North-West region — was reported on election day.

Cameroon’s constitutional council said on February 25 that the vote would have to be rerun in several parts of the two anglophone regions.

Results from the election released late last month showed Biya’s party retaining an absolute majority, winning 139 out of 167 seats on a turnout of almost 46 percent. Opposition candidates won only 16 seats, with the remainder going to allies of the ruling party.

The March 22 vote will determine who holds 13 outstanding seats.

The conflict in the Central African country’s English-speaking regions has killed more than 3,000 people and displaced nearly 700,000 in less than three years.

Source: AFP