Cameroon: President Paul Biya wins 7th consecutive term

By Felix Nkambeh Tih

ANKARA (AA) – Paul Biya, the long-serving Cameroonian president, has won a seventh consecutive term as head of the Central African state, according to official results.

"Election was free, fair, credible in spite of the security challenges in the English speaking regions," Clement Atangana, president of the Constitutional Council, said on Monday.

Biya won 71.28 percent of the votes, while his main rival Maurice Kamto came in second with 14.23 percent in the Oct. 7 presidential poll.

Voter turnout was 53.85 percent of the 6,667,754 registered voters.

Biya, 85, served as prime minister from 1975 until he succeeded former President Ahmadou Ahidjo in 1982.

Opposition leader Kamto had declared himself the winner of the Oct. 7 polls.

Kamto claimed that his party, the Cameroon Renaissance Movement (MRC), had amassed reliable evidence of its win.

The 65-year-old contender told local media that the delay in announcing the results was "unnecessary" and "suspicious".

"In most countries of the world, the results are announced the same evening or the day after the vote. In Cameroon, the Constitutional Council, with all members appointed by the president, has 15 days to do so,'' Kamto said a day after the election.

The election was scheduled at a time when the Central African state is marred by violence, especially in the two English-speaking regions.