Campaigning for Cameroon’s October 7 presidential election officially begun Saturday with the incumbent President Paul Biya defying threats from separatists to keep off Bamenda in the crisis-hit Northwest region.
Prime Minister and head of the ruling CPDM Philemon Yang told the militants and the sympathisers of the governing party in the Northwest that the current socio-political context of Cameroon required an experienced head of state and President Biya was the choice.
“It will be imprudent to elect a president who does not have the required experience. Make sure you cast your vote for President Biya, any vote against him is a vote for uncertainty,” Mr Yang said.
In Douala, opposition candidate Maurice Kamto of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement (MRC) disregarded a prohibition by a local administrator and addressed hundreds of supporters at his opening campaign rally on Saturday.
Maurice Kamto of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement party says he will not agree to surrender his candidacy to someone else.
“Why should I abandon my candidacy and line up behind another one, no. I am a leader of a political party, I am not standing on my own.”
Twenty-eight candidates filed to compete in the presidential election. Cameroon’s elections management body ELECAM accepted nine, including Biya’s candidacy.
Opposition parties have failed to agree on a single candidate to face incumbent President Paul Biya and are suspicious of each other as they maneuver to unseat the man who has ruled Cameroon since for more than three and a half decades.