Cameroon's Paul Biya 'easily' wins seventh term as president

The 85-year-old received more than 71 percent of October 7 vote, according to the Constitutional Council.

    Paul Biya has ruled Cameroon since 1982 [Lintao Zhang/Pool via Reuters]
    Paul Biya has ruled Cameroon since 1982 [Lintao Zhang/Pool via Reuters]
    Correction: 22/10/2018: A previous version of this story referred to Paul Biya, 85, as Africa's oldest leader. That was incorrect. Biya is sub-Saharan Africa's oldest leader.

    Cameroon's President Paul Biya, sub-Saharan Africa's oldest leader, has easily won a seventh term, according to the Constitutional Council.

    Biya, 85, won 71.3 percent of the October 7 vote, far ahead of opposition candidate Maurice Kamto's 14.2 percent, council president Clement Atangana said, announcing the official results in a state television broadcast.

    The council, which was appointed by Biya, rejected all 18 legal challenges to the election and defended the process.

    "The election was free, fair and credible in spite of the security challenges in the English-speaking regions," Atangana said.

    Major cities saw heavy troop deployment on Monday as the government banned all opposition rallies.

    Witnesses told AFP news agency that they heard gunfire in Buea, the capital of the English-speaking Southwest region, on Monday.

    Political tension has been high in the two weeks since the vote, as Kamto claimed victory based on his own campaign's figures, leading the ruling party to brand him an outlaw.

    On Sunday, an opposition march in Douala to protest electoral "fraud" was banned and around 30 people were arrested, AFP reported.

    The widely-expected victory extends Biya's 36-year rule and could see him remain in power until at least the age of 92.

    The October 7 election had very low turnout in English-speaking regions after more than 200,000 fled fighting between Anglophone separatists and security forces.

    Biya received over 75 percent of the vote in both regions.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies