Cameroon's Biya To Stand In October Vote

Officials for the ruling CPDM party handed in Biya’s declaration of candidacy at the national election office. He will face over 30 rivals in the poll, including John Fru Ndi of the main opposition Social Democratic Front (SDF).

“President Paul Biya is responding to the call of the people to run again as president,” Gregoire Owona, deputy secretary-general of the CPDM, told reporters at the office of the election body Elecam.

Biya’s government enacted constitutional reforms in 1998 aimed at removing term limits and clear the way for him to run again, but the opposition insist he is bound by the old 1996 charter under which his current seven-year term is his last.

Some analysts fear a repeat of the violent protests that followed the 2008 re-jig, in which over 40 people were killed.

In June, the United States called for a free and fair election and said any attempt by the government to intimidate other candidates in the run-up to the election would undermine its credibility.

Some 7.3 million people are registered to vote, compared to five million in the 2004 election which Biya won with a 70.92 percent score against Fru Ndi’s 17.40 percent.

Cameroon became a modest crude oil exporter in 1977, with production peaking at 185,000 barrels a day in 1986. Oil production in 2010 averaged at around 64,000 barrels per day.

It is also a cocoa producer and has substantial iron ore deposits. Reuters