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Cameroon's president wins landslide

Published Oct 15, 2004

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By Tansa Musa

Yaounde - Cameroon's President Paul Biya won a landslide re-election after taking more than 75 percent of the vote in Monday's presidential poll, according to almost complete results published by the government.

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The results were widely expected and allow 71-year-old Biya, who after 22 years in office is already one of Africa's longest-serving leaders, to stay on for another seven years.

His opponents have denounced the election as fraudulent and called for it to be annulled but international observers have said voting was generally satisfactory.

Biya won 75,2 percent of the vote while his closest rival John Fru Ndi scored 17,1 percent and another opposition candidate Adamou Ndam Njoya took 4,7 percent, Territorial Administration Minister Marafa Hamidou Yaya said late on Thursday.

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A third opposition candidate took 1,5 percent of the vote while other challengers all received under one percent.

Yaya said the results included returns from all but 43 of about 22 000 polling stations. The few outstanding returns would not influence the outcome of the vote, he said.

Turnout was around 79 percent, the minister said.

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"We totally disagree with the result," Njoya said, adding the coalition of parties backing him had filed a petition to the constitutional council to have the polls annulled.

"There were too many irregularities," he said.

Biya's opponents say some people were allowed to vote as many as five times.

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However, electoral observers from the International Organisation of French-speaking countries and a delegation of former US Congressmen have said that the polls were well organised and went smoothly, although there were shortcomings.

Analysts say while Biya will provide stability for Cameroon N a nation of some 17 million - he is unlikely to address some of its chronic problems such as a lack of transparency in government, unemployment, human rights abuses and corruption.

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