Cameroon opposition loses seats in parliament

In Cameroon, the opposition has lost 23 seats in the National Assembly following the results of the 9 February legislative elections.
The ruling party of long-serving leader Paul Biya has secured a landslide victory, according to results announced by the constitutional council on Friday.

The ruling People’s Democratic Movement party (RDPC) took 139 out of 167 declared seats. The opposition Social Democratic Front lost 10 seats, and now has just five seats.

Seven opposition political parties share 28 seats in total. While proclaiming the results, Justice Clement Atangana, the president of the constitutional court indicated that the electoral process was conducted in a free, fair and transparent manner in spite of the low participation rate of 45.9%.

Elections were cancelled in 13 other constituencies, in Cameroon’s troubled English-speaking regions, where separatist groups had called for a boycott.

Separatist forces have been clashing with government troops since 2017 to create a new nation they call “Ambazonia” in the Anglophone regions, representing about 20 percent of Cameroon population.

Almost 8,000 people have fled into Nigeria from Cameroon in the past weeks to escape clashes between security forces and armed separatists, according to the UN refugee agency.

The conflict has claimed more than 3,000 lives, according to tolls compiled by NGOs. The UN estimates that more than 679,000 have been displaced from their homes.

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