Cameroon opposition criticizes legislative poll

DOUALA, Cameroon (AP) — Cameroon President Paul Biya says legislative and municipal elections marked a step forward for the country’s democracy despite concerns from the opposition about potential fraud and the disbursement of campaign funds.

Voters cast ballots on Monday for 180 parliamentary and 10,600 municipal positions. More than 5 million voters were registered. Biya’s Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement political party currently dominates the National Assembly.

Samuel Fonkam Azu’u, head of the country’s electoral commission, said the vote went smoothly and the turnout was “quite impressive.”

Several opposition candidates said, however, that a new biometric voter registration system was vulnerable to fraud and criticized the government for disbursing campaign funds after the two-week campaign period began.

Biya, in power for nearly 31 years, said Monday’s vote showcased the “maturity” of Cameroon’s democratic system.

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