Cameroon is perhaps one of the most authoritarian states in Central Africa. It allows political opposition only on paper but in practice, opposition parties and members of the civil society are constantly harassed by the authorities. Moki Edwin Kindzeka in an article in VOA News reports the recent dispersion of an opposition meeting aiming to discuss reforms, particularly of the electoral code, needed to change incumbent Paul Biya’s rule. Here is an excerpt:
For the second consecutive time, heavily armed police dispersed an opposition leaders’ meeting held to propose reforms they say are needed to democratically change the more than four-decade-long rule of 88-year-old Cameroonian President Paul Biya. Opposition leaders, including three former presidential candidates, say the crackdown is the latest setback in their attempt to pave the way for peaceful transition of power from Africa’s second-longest-ruling president.
Seven opposition leaders said they were forcefully evicted from a meeting held in Yaounde Wednesday as they were pressing for reforms to rescue elections from the strong grip of Cameroon’s long-serving president, Paul Biya. The leaders issued a formal statement on April 3.
Among the attendees was Prince Michael Ngwese Ekosso. He is the president of the opposition United Socialist Democratic Party and said he took part in the meeting with hopes of easing tensions after allegations of election rigging. Opposition leaders say post-election tensions have risen after claims of fraud, with results skewed toward Biya’s Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement party.
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