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Presidential election in Cameroon: calm election despite some incidents

One round, but many questions this Sunday, October 7 in Cameroon where we voted for the presidential election. The offices are closed and voters can choose from eight candidates, including President Paul Biya, who has been in power for 36 years. Despite measures taken to ensure the security of the vote, the vote was disrupted in the two English-speaking regions of the country.

17h: It is 18h in Cameroon, the poll is now officially completed and the polling stations closed. The vote count will be able to start. Overall, the voting day was calm, except in the two English-speaking regions of the country, where insecurity disrupted the election.

4:50 pm: Polling stations are about to close. The poll must end at 18h local time, 17h in universal time. The counting can begin. On social networks, many Cameroonians say they are ready to attend the final count.

4:40 pm: Despite the withdrawal of Akere Muna, ballots in his name were present in some polling stations. The lawyer withdrew on Friday, October 5, for the benefit of former Justice Minister Maurice Kamto. On Saturday, the polling organization announced that it was too late to withdraw the ballots. The Akere Muna camp was surprised in a statement: “It is unpublished to require a candidate who has waived to maintain his candidacy. Also in the same statement, Akere Muna believes that “it is clear that Elecam is trying to evade its responsibilities, or to lend a hand to an electoral fraud.”

4:25 pm: Insecurity in the English-speaking North-West region is likely to affect forbearance in the region. According to a document issued by Elecam, the organ in charge of organizing the election, which RFI was able to obtain, out of the 2,343 polling stations originally planned, only 79 remain open for the entire year. northern English-speaking region, including 13 in Bamenda. If it wants to vote, the population must travel considerable distances to put a ballot in the ballot box.

4:10 pm: If the polls take place calmly in the francophone zone, in the two English-speaking regions of the country, the situation is much more tense. In Bamenda, the capital of the North-West, several witnesses joined by RFI describe a ghost town, surveyed only by soldiers and policemen. A member of the civil society, accredited observer of the poll, indicates that the shots occur every hour. He could not vote or supervise the election due to insecurity, and the number of polling stations dropped drastically.

3:45 pm: At Akwa public school in downtown Douala, several voters were surprised by the good organization of the vote at the microphone of our correspondent. “In 2011, I remember, the vote had started late because there was no ballot,” confided a woman. “In 2011, I also remember, there were some voters who were desperately looking for their polling station so they could not vote,” said another voter. This year the lists are displayed, all the equipment is in place, there is not this tension that was felt before in the offices. Some voters, however, have difficulty finding their polling stations because of a confusion between the number on their electoral map and the one on the file.

3:20 pm: On this polling day, Cameroonian netizens are very active on social networks with hastags # etoudi2018 and # 237vote. For the first time in the history of Cameroon, the electoral campaign has indeed been very dynamic on social networks.

15h: If the vote takes place calmly in Yaoundé, an electoral observer of a polling center of the district Bastos however lamented the microphone of the absence of the representatives of certain parties. “Political parties are not represented in all polling stations. Only three parties are represented, the CPDM, MRC and the SDF. This poses a problem of transparency, “he said.

14:35: In Yaoundé, in the district of Obobogo, our correspondent went to meet the voters. One of them, Didier, is rather satisfied with the voting process. “As a citizen of Cameroon, I exercised my right and I could see that compared to the past years, this time things look a little more serious,” he told the microphone. of RFI.
2:10 pm: On the social networks of many Cameroonians proudly post pictures of their voter card or finger stained ink to show that they have fulfilled their duty as a citizen.

1:50 pm: As we explained, it is sometimes difficult for voters to find their name on the electoral lists, as evidenced by this photo taken by our correspondent in front of one of the 11 polling stations of Newbell bilingual high school in Douala.

1:30 pm: The Secretary-General of the UN issued a statement on the situation in Cameroon condemning any threat of violence and intimidation by some groups in this election. Antonio Guterres also invites all candidates to resolve any election-related grievance through legal and constitutional channels.

1:15 pm: According to our correspondent in Douala, many voters say they intend to return tonight at 18 hours to attend the count. They want to be sure that their voice will be well taken into account.
13h00: On social networks, several Hashtags allow to follow this election: # etoudi2018 and # 237vote.
12.45: Voting operations have taken their cruising speed in Douala. There were sometimes few people this morning, it must be said, in some offices. But now, small queues have formed. Voters’ lists are well displayed, but some voters find it difficult to find their polling station, because there is confusion between the number on the electoral map and the number on the file. Voters try to recognize themselves with the photos, but some are discouraged.

12.20 pm: In Bamenda, the Minister of Communication, Issa Bakary Tchiroma assured this morning that “a large majority of the inhabitants” was ready to go to vote, but this is not at all what the people contacted on the spot. They describe a ghost town. A religious reports that some people went to the offices, but that people are now cloistered at home. There are only soldiers and police on the streets. “As I speak, I have just seen three vehicles passing with soldiers shooting in the air to scare the population a bit more,” said one resident. “No one can vote in these conditions,” he added.
12:00 pm: In Douala, the vote is also calm.
11:40: President Paul Biya voted as expected at the school of Bastos in Yaoundé. He was accompanied by his wife Chantal Biya.
11.30: In Yaoundé, the vote takes place in a rather quiet atmosphere at midday, according to our correspondent who visited five of the seven districts of the city. At most polling stations, electoral operations actually started at 8 am Some offices experienced ignition delays of thirty or forty-five minutes. But overall, the vote is largely under way. For the time being, the affluence is generally average, with many people having first visited the various places of worship in the morning. The other thing is that a lot of voter cards are in the polls. Finally, the representatives of the candidates are missing in several polling stations.
11.15: In Bamenda, three armed men were shot dead this morning by the police. Men riding motorcycles and shooting at passersby according to a source quoted by Agence France Presse. The spokesman of the army, interviewed by RFI, evokes for the moment, at least one person killed. A certain “Genesis”, leader of an armed separatist group, neutralized this morning, during an exchange of fire with the military.
11:00 am: There are eight candidates running for this presidential election, but voters have nine ballots at their disposal. Indeed, the withdrawal of Akere Muna, which occurred this Friday, for the benefit of Maurice Kamto, was not taken into account by the Electoral Commission.
10:30 am: Several personalities have already fulfilled their electoral duties. Prime Minister Philemon Yang voted in his home region in Bamenda (in the north-west) as did the speaker of the National Assembly Cavaye Yeguié Djibril who voted in Tokombéré in the Far-North region. Candidates Cabral Libii, Serge Matomba, Garga Haman Adji and Joshua Osih made their vote.
10:00: President Paul Biya is expected soon to vote in an office in Yaoundé. For the occasion, the building was repainted.
09:45: In total, this Sunday, 6.5 million Cameroonian voters are expected to elect their new president in the 25,000 polling stations deployed throughout the country.
09:15: Incidents have been reported in English-speaking areas. In Bamenda, shots were heard. In Bafut, in the North West region, unidentified assailants attempted to burn down a polling station before being rejected. Finally in Tanta, fifteen kilometers from Bamenda, other attackers tried to storm the private residence of former Prime Minister Simon Achidi Achu, they were also repulsed.
09:00: Very few voters are present in Douala in polling stations for the moment according to our correspondent. Many prefer to attend Mass first before coming to fulfill their civic duty. Note that the representatives of the main candidates are well in place, determined to follow the progress of the operations to the end. Vigilance is essential today.
08:30: In the English-speaking regions of Cameroon, there are fears of strong disruption of the voters’ vote during this presidential election. The separatists promised “the war”. Three of them were killed on Friday in Buea. The two regions of the South West and North West are completely closed since Saturday. During the election campaign, no candidates went to Buea or Bamenda.
08:00 AM: At Joss High School, in Bonanjo administrative district, Douala, there are six polling stations that have all opened at 8:00. According to our correspondent on the spot, some voters were even a little surprised that the vote starts on time, because they expected a little delay in starting. They are, for the moment, very few in this voting center.
7:45 am: In the offices, there are flashlights and batteries, in case, at the end of the day, at the time of stripping, the electric current was to fail.
07:30: The presidential campaign in Cameroon ended this Saturday with the last meetings in Yaoundé and Douala. Appointments covered by our correspondents on the spot.
07:10: In Yaoundé, voters begin to arrive in the polling stations as in high school Leclerc, one of the largest voting centers in the capital. It must nevertheless present white paw at the entrance. Police filter access with metal detectors and systematically search all vehicles.
07:00: Opening of polling stations for this presidential election. In total, 6.5 million Cameroonians are expected for this unique round of the presidential election. President Paul Biya is seeking a seventh consecutive term, while English-speaking separatists have threatened the election.
06h30: In a polling station in Douala, Akwa public school, everything is in place according to our correspondent. There are five polling stations here and election materials are present: ballot boxes, polling booths, ballot papers. The lists are now displayed.
 story of the elctoral day


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