AKIPRESS.COM - Cameroonian President Paul Biya has won re-election by a landslide, official results showed on Monday, extending his 36-year rule despite claims from two leading opposition candidates that the vote was fraudulent, Reuters reports.
At 85, Biya is the oldest leader in sub-Saharan Africa and the victory cements his place as one of Africa’s longest-serving rulers. Most Cameroonians have known only him as president.
Biya won 71 percent of the vote on a turnout of 54 percent, according to figures announced by the Constitutional Council. He won strongly in nine of 10 regions, including the South and East where he took more than 90 percent of the vote. His closest rival, Maurice Kamto, won 14 percent overall.
The announcement follows two weeks of tension in the coffee- and oil-producing country where, despite economic growth above 4 percent a year since the last election, most people live in poverty.
Authorities have defended the voting process. “The election was free, fair and credible in spite of the security challenges in the English-speaking regions,” the President of Constitutional Council, Clement Atangana said.