Officials of Cameroon’s elections management body (ELECAM) say they have received 25 petitions from Presidential candidates and voters calling for the cancellation of the October 7 Presidential election.
“A total number of 25 petition files from candidates and voters have reached ELECAM head office in the nation’s capital Yaoundé on Thursday, October 11, 2018.”
According to Pastor Rigobert Gabanmidanha of the Live and Peace Ministry, the election should be cancelled because members of the Constitutional Council were appointed by President Paul Biya who was among the contestant.
“The Constitutional Council that certifies election results is controlled by Biya and many opposition supporters like himself were not allowed to vote”, he stated.
Pastor Rigobert said he went to his polling station with his voters’ card but was told that his name was not on the list of registered voters as such he was disenfranchised.
13 of the petitions to cancel the October 7 election were from Bertin Kisob, who is on pre-trial detention for supporting Anglophone separatists.
It should be noted that Kisob presidential bid was rejected by Elections Cameroon.
Opposition candidates claim they were chased from polling stations by Biya’s supporters, the military and armed gangs.
The leader of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement (CRM) Professor Maurice Kamto, who had claimed victory on Monday October 8, 2018, is calling for a partial cancellation of election results.
Kamto said the military that were sent to secure polling stations in Anglophone Regions rigged the polls in favour of the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (CPDM).
Other candidates like Cabral Libii of the UNIVERSE Party and Joshua Osih of the Social Democratic Front (SDF) are among those who want the polls to be annulled.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Labour and Social Security, Gregoire Owona, who doubles as the Deputy Secretary General of the ruling CPDM, described the complaints as a distraction.
“There should be no confusion on the role played by independent state institutions in the electoral process and by their candidate Biya, who is still President. Whatever their complaints are, it is just a mere distraction,” Owona stated, adding that ELECAM has denied all allegations of vote-rigging.
The Head of ELECAM’s Legal Unit, Mbufong Marcel Kumfa, argued that opposition parties have no evidence on which to base their claims as they failed to send representatives to polling stations.
“The members of the local polling commission all sign the result sheets after counting and each representative of the candidate go home with an original copy, so if you don’t send a representative as the law requires, you cannot have the result sheets from that polling station because you were not present,” Mbufong reiterated.
The Electoral Commission has until the end of the week to respond to the petitions, while the Constitutional Council has to rule on the claims before announcing the outcome of the October 7 polls.