Cameroon: Opposition in court demanding cancellation of polls
Yaounde, October 12, 2018,(AltAfrica) – State broadcaster, CRTV, have confirmed reports that a number of opposition parties had approached the court over the October 7 presidential elections.
CRTV said in a tweet on Thursday, four days after the vote, that a total of 17 applications had been made to the Constitutional Court demanding partial and in some cases total cancellation of the vote.
They confirmed that among the applicants before the top court were main opposition leader Joshua Osih of the Social Democratic Front, SDF, and Maurice Kamto who led an opposition coalition that involved Akere Muna, a famed lawyer.
Maurice Kamto did not proclaim himself president, he claimed victory, it’s not the same thing.
Local media in Cameroon are reporting that the camp of opposition contender Maurice Kamto on Wednesday afternoon held a press conference in the capital Yaounde amid deployment of heavy security.
Kamto’s spokesperson among other demands called for a probe into the false report carried by state broadcaster, CRTV. Kamto’s camp said the TV and ministry responsible for accreditation needed to be probed.
CRTV had carried a news item on Tuesday alleging that Transparency International, TI, had given high marks to the October 7 process. TI in a statement denied the report.
Other issues he raised were that: There was a ploy to blame violence on Kamto, that there was growing tension in the country. He also flatly denied that Kamto was being financed by politicians held in prison over an anti-corruption crackdown, Operation Epervier.
— Hemisphere Africa (@HmpAfrica) October 10, 2018
Kamto, leader of a two-party alliance declared on Monday, barely twenty-four hours after the vote that he won an emphatic victory. Government slammed his announcement describing it as “irresponsible, illegal.”
The spokesman clarified in later reports that Kamto had only claimed victory based on figures and projections. “Maurice Kamto did not proclaim himself president, he claimed victory, it’s not the same thing,” Olivier Nissack reportedly said.
Cameroon radio and television, CRTV, the state broadcaster has been exposed by international rights group Transparency International, TI, over a report that the group’s observer team had ‘blessed’ the conduct of the October 7 presidential polls.
CRTV shared a video that purported to have observers with TI but the group in a press statement said it had not sent a team to observe the polls.
“Transparency International confirms that it has no international election observation mission in Cameroon. A recent television report featuring individuals described as working for Transparency International is false and untrue,” a statement read.
It is the most significant development surrounding the polls since opposition candidate Maurice Kamto declared that he had won a clear mandate from the people.
The former Biya minister had been dismissed by the government describing his move as irresponsible and illegal. Kamto’s coalition ally, Akere Muna, is a former TI top official. He resigned to contest the presidential polls but entered an alliance with Kamto less than 24-hours to the vote.
Voting closed in Cameroon in Sunday evening and counting of ballots started in earnest. Main opposition Social Democratic Front, SDF, vowed to police the counting and results declaration process.
But it is the declaration of victory by Maurice Kamto, a former Biya minister that has thrown the process into a state of shock. Kamto who led a two-party alliance involving famed lawyer Akere Muna said the goal of his party had been reached.
A summary of the issues he raised in his victory speech (in French) is as follows:
- Cameroonians have chosen to go down a historic path by voting out the incumbent.
- He has won a clear mandate he is ready to defend firmly.
- Called on Paul Biya to make transition arrangement to avert needless post-poll crisis.
- His supporters can remain joyful and proud of the achievement.