U.S. congratulates Cameroonians, calls for peace in Anglophone zones
London, October 23, 2018,(AltAfrica) – The United States has commented on the outcome of Cameroon’s just ended presidential elections giving it a pass mark of sorts despite what it said were irregularities before, during and after the October 7 polls.
A statement from the U.S. Department of State also urged respect for the rule of law and peaceful resolution of disputes through legal channels.
The statement issued by Heather Nauert, a department spokesperson, also called for focus to return to the crisis in the restive Anglophone regions where a separatist movement continues to make the regions ungovernable.
Full statement: Cameroon’s Presidential Election Results
The United States congratulates the people of Cameroon for largely peaceful elections on October 7. We urge all parties – including the government – to respect the rule of law, resolve peacefully any disputes through established legal channels, and avoid hate speech.
While we welcome the Cameroonian Election Commission’s demonstrable improvement over the 2011 elections, there were a number of irregularities prior to, during, and after the October 7 election.
These irregularities may not have affected the outcome but created an impression that the election was not credible or genuinely free and fair. We commend the African Union Election Observation Mission for its preliminary statement, notably that “the current framework needs to be strengthened in order to safeguard the democratic principles of separation of powers, fairness, and independence and impartiality.”
With the conclusion of the presidential election, the United States strongly encourages both sides involved in the conflict affecting the Northwest and Southwest Regions of Cameroon to focus on resolving differences through peaceful dialogue and to allow unhindered access to humanitarian aid workers, the statement concluded.
The country’s Constitutional Council on Monday declared incumbent Paul Biya as president-elect with over 70% of valid votes cast. Biya swept majority of votes in nine regions except for the Littoral region where opposition candidate Maurice Kamto won.
Biya, 85, is now set to start his seventh term, a seven-year mandate, that will see him extend his over three decades stay in power. Biya also won all diaspora votes.
#2018 presidential election: Biya Paul has been proclaimed winner of the October 7 election with a 71.28%. pic.twitter.com/SpIpHSbPDu
— ELECTIONS CAMEROON (@Elecam2018) October 22, 2018