The Incumbent, Pres. (Mr.) Paul Biya thanks Cameroonians for re-electing him as President of the Republic of Cameroon #cmr11.

October 25, 2011 § Leave a comment

Fellow Cameroonians,

My Dear Compatriots,

In accordance with our Constitution, the Supreme Court, acting as the Constitutional Council, has just announced the results of the 9 October 2011 presidential election.

In a completely sovereign, free and transparent manner, you have once again decided to entrust me with the office of President of the Republic.

Thank you for having thus renewed your trust in me.

My thanks go first and foremost to all the militants of the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement, the militants of the other parties of the presidential majority and all those who voted for me.

Having been “elected by the whole Nation” in accordance with the provisions of our Constitution, I wish to congratulate all my compatriots who, regardless of their convictions, went to the polls and thus performed their electoral duty. By going quietly to the polls, they have once more demonstrated their high sense of responsibility and their attachment to democracy.

My congratulations also go to all the stakeholders in the electoral process, notably Elections Cameroon, the Supreme Court, the candidates, political parties, the media, the forces of law and order and territorial administration, etc. In their various spheres of competence, each of these stakeholders contributed to the successful conduct of the 9 October poll and hence played a role in writing a new page of our democratic experience.

I am happy to note that our democracy is doing well.

My Dear Compatriots,

Rest assured that I fully fathom the magnitude of the task you have once more entrusted to me.

I am encouraged by your confidence to pursue ongoing efforts towards making Cameroon a prosperous, just and fraternal country.

Your trust warrants me to carry through the Major Accomplishments vision which I presented to you and which is henceforth your vision, the vision of the Cameroonian people.

Together, we will translate the Major Accomplishments into Great Success Stories.

Together, we will make Cameroon an emerging country, that is, a country with strong democratic institutions, enjoying strong and sustainable growth, based on social justice.

Together, – Cameroonians from all regions, of all religious, language and social backgrounds, from all walks of life and of all generations – we are going to transform our country into a vast construction site which will provide job opportunities for young people and create wealth that can be redistributed equitably.

Together, we are going to strengthen true gender equality; we are going to increase youth participation in public affairs; we are going to consolidate peace in our country.

Together, we are going to achieve progress by giving Fresh Impetus to all sectors of national life.

My Dear Compatriots,

Such is the challenge facing us at the dawn of this new seven-year tenure. Wherever you are and whatever your place in our society, I am urging you all to join forces so that together we can meet this challenge and move forward on the path of democracy and social progress.

Long Live the Republic!

Long Live Cameroon!

 

Yaounde, 25-10-2011

Source

Cameroon policemen on poll duty killed at a Polling Station

October 10, 2011 § 4 Comments

Two killed in unstable Bakassi region while securing presidential election expected to be won by incumbent Paul Biya.

Two military policemen were killed in the unstable southwestern Bakassi region of Cameroon while securing presidential elections there, the government has said.

They were killed on Sunday by “armed men who have not yet been identified” in Isanguele district, Marafa Hamidu Yaya, the interior minister, told reporters as votes were being counted across the country.

“These brave elements of our security forces were on a mission to secure the electoral process,” the minister said. “All steps are being taken to find and apprehend their killers.”

Several groups, often armed, operate in the coastal Bakassi peninsula, carrying out assaults and kidnappings the authorities blame on pirates.

About seven million Cameroonians were eligible to vote for a president on Sunday with incumbent Paul Biya almost assured of extending his 29-year rule amid signs of apathy in a ballot the opposition termed a “mess”.

Earlier in the day, voters faced delays and organisational shortfalls in parts of the country.

Biya, 78, is viewed as keeping his place among the clutch of African leaders in power for decades. And rivals had alleged the vote was skewed against them.

There were no official turnout figures but voting appeared sluggish in the capital Yaounde.

Foregone conclusion

Many Cameroonians appeared indifferent to the election campaign, feeling the vote was a foregone conclusion.

Results could take days to emerge.

Election observers said voting was peaceful but cited delays at some polling stations and irregularities such as some voters being allowed to jump the queue.

After voting ended, a Reuters reporter in Yaounde saw 19 polling stations where ballots were being counted without the required presence of candidates’ representatives.

“Some polling stations opened late, some appeared unclear on the rules about how votes are cast,” Commonwealth observer mission leader Frederick Mitchell said by telephone.

Biya’s main rival, John Fru Ndi of the Social Democratic Front (SDF), said a surplus of voting slips meant some had voted twice in certain parts of the country and said election body Elecam would be blamed for the “disorder and confusion”.

Casting his vote in Yaounde, Biya asked for patience.  “It [Elecam] is a young organisation … I’m just asking
that there should be indulgence in any eventual imperfection. There was no intention to fraud,” he said.

Biya faces 22 candidates including Fru Ndi, and Adamou Ndam Njoya of the Cameroon Democratic Union (UDC).

In the last election in 2004, Biya scored just over 70 per cent, while his closest rival Ndi took 17 per cent.

Source: Al Jazeera

Social media buzz about Cameroon’s elections reveals widespread concerns.

October 6, 2011 § Leave a comment

Cameroon’s October 9th presidential election is fast approaching, and social media is being used to create a dialogue, raise concerns and share information about the event.

Paul Baya billboard, running for Cameroonians elections

The country’s incumbent, Paul Biya of the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement, has been in power for 30 years despite general dissatisfaction and outcries for the president to step down. There are currently 23 candidates in the race with John Fru Ndi of the Social Democratic Front running a distant second to Biya.

The blogging community, Global Voices, is running special coverage entitled Cameroon Elections 2011 that features blog posts from citizens around the world about the elections. The bloggers have discussed various issues surrounding the election, many accusing Biya of election corruption such as paying off politicians to falsely run against him.

CNN has reported on Biya’s “complacent attitude” since he has not been campaigning in the field. His behavior implies that Biya “plans to win through election rigging and fraud.” Youth are allegedly being paid by Biya to support the leader in the streets, and nearly all government campaigning money has been distributed to his party alone.

The Twitter community is also closely following the election, sharing articles, information, and social media tools with one another. A site that has been Tweeted frequently is one that keeps track of the election search trends. Through the tool, anyone can see which party leader or election issues are being searched the most on Google.

Cameroon Election Search Trends, from http://www.google.cm/intl/en/landing/elections/2011/

Social media has allowed those interested in Cameroon’s elections to share information in ways that were never possible before. But the country lags far behind others in the region in terms of Internet penetration rates. With only 5% of the country having Internet access, most citizens will not be able to follow the social media that is providing critical perspectives on the election. Were the majority of the country’s citizens able to follow the elections online, there might be more potential for a nation-wide movement against Biya and his alleged election rigging.

Source

Cameroon president’s campaign tactic strategy sparks concern.

October 5, 2011 § 1 Comment

Douala, Cameroons (CNN) — Both supporters and opponents of Cameroon President Paul Biya say they are concerned about his complacent attitude in the campaign leading to the October 9 election, with some saying he plans to win through election rigging and fraud.

Campaigning enters the final phase this week with all 22 opposition candidates crisscrossing the nation, but Biya has not been seen campaigning anywhere in the field.

“We are very worried and bitter about our candidate sitting in the air-conditioned office and sending us to the field as if we are slaves,” Christopher Ambe told CNN. “He is very proud even to go down to the ordinary Cameroonian on the streets.”

Ambe said young people are being paid by Biya’s Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement to take to the streets in support of the leader, who has been in power for nearly 30 years.

A citizen who spoke to CNN on grounds of anonymity noted that “in other countries like Zimbabwe, Zambia and Ghana, we see other presidents who seek re-election campaigning in villages and on streets. If our president is too old to do that, let him step down for the young leaders to have a chance.”

The main opposition candidate of the Social Democratic Front, John Fru Ndi, is now seen as the only candidate touring all 10 regions of the West African nation. Fru Ndi accused Biya of planning to rig the election.

Another opposition candidate, Paul Ayah Abine, pointed to the uneven distribution of government campaign money to political parties. He said Biya’s party has nearly 20 billion central African francs (about $40 million) while the other 22 candidates have less than 1 billion.

A leading campaigner for Biya, Atanga Nji Paul, Sunday told a rally in the Northwest region that all other parties are poor and wretched.

Some observers say Biya’s supporters are buying people’s votes with money.

A young Cameroonian, Bertin Kisob, whose candidacy was rejected by Elections Cameroon, is calling on youth to take to the streets in a violent protest. Last week he claimed responsibility for being behind a gun battle in the Wouri area of Douala that lasted hours.

Kisob told CNN he is ready to disrupt the polls and put the regime of the dictator to an end.

“There can never be free and fair elections in this country. If so, we could have seen the change in 2007,” he said.

Source: CNN

Cameroon opposition leader says other parties are ‘maggots’

September 29, 2011 § 3 Comments

YAOUNDE, Cameroon (CNN) — The chairman of Cameroon‘s main opposition party, John Fru Ndi, said Monday that the other opposition parties competing in October’s presidential race are “maggots.”

Fru Ndi told supporters at a rally in the opposition stronghold of Bamenda that nearly all the parties running alongside his Social Democratic Front were set up by President Paul Biya as a ploy to fracture the main party.

Fru Ndi says he will resign after three years if he is elected president, rather than the usual seven-year term.

Twenty-three candidates will be on the ballot in the West African nation on October 9.

Elvis Ngolle Ngolle, a Biya Cabinet minister, denied that the president created the “maggot parties” to weaken the Social Democratic Front but pointed to the relative peace enjoyed under Biya’s rule.

Biya’s campaigners have been renewing promises made over the course of his 29-year rule, adding that he is seeking another term because it is the people’s choice.

But Melvis Acho, a resident of Bamenda, disagreed. “We are tired of Mr. Biya alone ruling this nation for nearly 30 years with total repression. We lack jobs and even basic health care. Epidemics like cholera run for over a year, and no one seems to care. Corrupt officials and embezzlers walk away with impunity.”

In Bamenda, Fru Ndi raised the possibility of protests.

“I would not opt for youths to take to the streets in protest like that of the Arab Spring, but if Mr. Biya’s regime this time violates a free, fair and transparent election as he has always done, I would change my mind,” he told supporters.

The state-run media, CRTV, is being criticized by opposition candidates as favoring Biya’s Cameroon Peoples’ Democratic Movement in order to render them voiceless in the campaign.

Source: CNN

Election Rigging Strategy: Biya regime bans Twitter in the Cameroons

September 29, 2011 § 3 Comments

Twitter’s SMS based messaging service has been banned on MTN Cameroon following an order from the Cameroonian government, Twitter announced yesterday over its own messaging platform. The company advised customers to contact MTN for more details.

There were reports that the country’s political opposition were Planning another series of protests against the long-serving President Paul Biya after earlier Egypt inspired protests were put down by the country’s military last month.

Like many countries facing political uprisings, the Cameroon government has been increasingly clamping down on internet services, especially ones accessible over mobile phones.

Cameroonian blogger Dibussi Tande told Foreign Policy magazine, if President Biya didn’t have a problem with Twitter activism before, he likely does now:

“Before today’s ban, very few Cameroonians were even aware that Twitter was available in Cameroon via SMS, and the majority of those who were did not even grasp its potential as a tool for political activism.”

As he also noted: “Obviously, the government has failed to learn the lesson from North Africa, particularly in Tunisia where the Ben Ali regime was still toppled even though it had banned all social media sites for years and had engaged in a sophisticated cyber-war with Tunisian digital activists.”

President Biya has been in power since 1982. In 2009, Biya was ranked #19 in Parade Magazine’s Top 20 list of The World’s Worst Dictators.

 

Source: Ntemfacofege’s Blog

Anti-regime gunmen battle police in Cameroon at the Wourri Bridge.

September 29, 2011 § 2 Comments

Doula, Cameroon (CNN) — Gunmen opposed to Cameroon’s long-time leader traded fire with police for hours Thursday in the nation’s largest city, Doula.

Eyewitnesses told CNN the gunmen, wearing military uniforms, blocked the busy Wouri Bridge brandishing signs reading “Biya Must Go” and “We Want The Dictator Out.”

President Paul Biya has been in power in the West African nation for nearly 30 years. His decision to seek another seven-year term in the October 9 election has sparked unrest, and observers have warned that his expected victory might bring post-election violence.

The state media, CRTV, reported that five gunmen had been captured and no civilian had been injured. One of the gun men plunged into the river, it said. His fate was unclear.

We are not happy with the Biya regime and we want him out by all costs
A Cameroon youth

There is a heavy presence of the military in the strategic Wouri area. The 5,900-foot-long bridge carries both road and rail traffic and is estimated to be used by nearly 40,000 people a day.

“This is a warning for the campaigners for Mr. Biya. They must accept what is right or go with the wind of change,” Collins Ntar, a fruit seller, told CNN.

An angry youth who would not give his name told CNN, “We are not happy with the Biya regime and we want him out by all costs.”

With the expected unrest, popular marches have been banned in key parts of the country, including the Northwest and Littoral regions.

Campaigns have officially kicked off in all regions, though at a snail’s pace. The 22 opposition candidates to challenge Biya say there is a slow disbursement of money from the government to fund their campaign rallies.

In 2008, Biya erased term limits from the constitution. That move, coupled with rocketing food prices, fueled anti-government riots that human rights groups, cited by the U.S. State Department, say killed approximately 100 people. The government of Cameroon put the number of deaths at 40.

Source: CNN

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