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Cameroon election deeply flawed, says US envoy

US ambassador to Cameroon Robert Jackson has pointed to widespread irregularities in the country's presidential election earlier this month. The results are to be announced Friday, with long-term ruler Paul Biya set for a comfortable win.


AFP - The US ambassador to Cameroon on Thursday condemned the running of the country's presidential election earlier this month, saying there had been irregularities at every level.

Robert Jackson said US observers had noted irregularities and incoherences at every level of the process and said that the country's electoral commisssion (ELECAM) had also experienced technical difficulties.

"On election day, mission observers noted inconsistencies and irregularities in and between almost all polling stations as well as technical difficulties on the part of ELECAM in administering the election," Jackson said in a statement.

"One of the biggest criticisms was the way that the voter list was consolidated and managed, creating opportunities for multiple voting."

Jackson also pointed to lack of training for election officials and voter education as well as failure by officials to prevent repeat voters as flaws.

Incumbent Paul Biya is widely expected to return for a sixth term following the October 9 vote which the opposition argues should be nullified due to electoral fraud.

On Monday, opposition groups, including Biya's top challenger John Fru Ndi, called for mass protest if the election was not cancelled.

However the Supreme Court on Thursday rejected their bid to have the polls annulled, clearing the way for results to be announced Friday.

Cameroon's former colonial ruler France, which backed Biya's rise to power three decades ago, has said it did not believe the ballot was flawed.

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