Opposition party says Cameroon will not have free and fair elections
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Cape Town - There are concerns about the fairness of Cameroon's legislative and municipal elections to be held next month amid a security crisis in the country’s English-speaking northwestern and southwestern regions, Turkey-based Anadolu Agency reported.
Njong Evaristus Ndim, a member of the main opposition Social Democratic Front, told the news agency that the February 9 vote would not have free and fair. In the country's northwestern regions, the offices of Elections Cameroon (ELECAM) which is in charge of running the ballot were not functional, he said.
Last week, separatists vowed to disrupt the polls, but the Cameroon government has promised to deal with troublemakers.
Armed separatist groups have threatened security in the country for more than three years.
Anadolu Agency reported that in the weeks leading to the elections, the group had been trying to ban people from casting their votes.
Evaristus Ndim said his fellow legislators from the ruling Cameroon People's Democratic Movement were also unable to reach the areas they represented in the conflict zones.
Last October last year, soldiers were deployed to secure the perimeter of a polling station near Buea in southwestern Cameroon, during the presidential election. This month about 350 security forces have arrived in Buea, the EastAfrican reported.
The publication said the security forces would be re-deployed to the six administrative divisions of the region to ensure security before, during and after the elections.