Cameroon’s government keeps postponing local elections for ‘no reason’

Anti-Paul Biya Protesters demonstrate in front of the Eiffel tower in Paris, France, on 27 October 2018, to denounce a presidential election rigged in Cameroon by Paul Biya. (Photo by Julien Mattia/NurPhoto)

Cameroon President Paul Biya said Monday he was delaying local elections to 2020, a declaration read on the radio said Monday, the second time in two years that the poll has been postponed.

“The mandate of municipal councillors elected on September 30, 2013 has been extended until February 29, 2020,” Biya declared, which essentially sets the poll back until that date.

No reason was given for the extension.

On July 11, 2018, the elections were postponed a first time using the same method.

Biya, who is 86, has been in power for 36 years.

Legislative elections could now be delayed as well because the government wants to hold them at the same time to cut costs, according to deputies.

Cameroon is in the midst of a security crisis that has pitted separatist English-speaking regions in the west against the French-speaking population elsewhere.

In the north, the Nigerian jihadist group Boko Haram stages regular armed attacks as well.

The country is also facing political ructions, with the head of the opposition Movement for the Rebirth of Cameroon (MRC), Maurice Kamto, and about 100 of the party’s supporters still in jail after their arrest in January.

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