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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 October, 2004, 08:27 GMT 09:27 UK
Cameroon leader 'ahead in polls'
President of Cameroon
Paul Biya has been president since 1982
Unofficial results from Cameroon's presidential election point to a huge victory for incumbent Paul Biya.

State radio reports that he is heading for a sweeping victory in nine out of Cameroon's 10 provinces, with 90% of the vote in some areas.

Opposition parties are alleging massive rigging and want the polls annulled, claims rejected by the ruling party. Many voters stayed away from the polls.

Mr Biya, in power since 1982, faced two main opposition challengers.

It's a waste of time because there will be no change
Mohamed Bouba, businessman
John Fru Ndi polled well in his traditional stronghold of the North West province, one of two English-speaking areas, reports state radio.

Official results are expected in two weeks.

'As planned'

Mr Biya congratulated Cameroonians for "behaving calmly and with dignity" during the elections.

"They're going on as planned. That is to say, normally," he said.

But apathy was widespread.

Fru Ndi
Mr Fru Ndi is claiming fraud, as in previous polls
BBC correspondents in towns across Cameroon say that as polls opened on Monday morning, there were only short queues of voters.

"It's a waste of time because there will be no change," said Mohamed Bouba, a businessman who did not bother to vote.

Tazoacha Asonganyi, secretary-general of Mr Fru Ndi's Social Democratic Front, said the indelible ink that was stamped on voters' thumbs after they voted was easily washed off.

"There were so many people who voted several times," he said.

"These elections cannot be considered transparent."

An AP reporter saw three men vote at a polling station in the capital, Yaounde, and then return to cast ballots a second time, using different identity cards.

Over the weekend, the electoral authorities announced that they had found tens of thousands of people who had registered to vote more than once.

The voters roll was reduced by 600,000 to less than four million, out of an estimated eight million people of voting age.

Mr Biya did not himself appear at rallies until the week before the elections - he had previously let his prime minister campaign on his behalf.




SEE ALSO:
Cameroon's reluctant campaigner
09 Oct 04  |  Africa
Cameroon players back president
06 Sep 04  |  Africa
Timeline: Cameroon
27 Apr 04  |  Country profiles
Country profile: Cameroon
14 Jul 04  |  Country profiles


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