Cameroon’s main opposition party, the Movement for the Rebirth of Cameroon (MRC), on Monday declared it would not take part in the country’s legislative and municipal elections scheduled for February 9, 2020, amid the escalating Anglophone crisis rocking the two English speaking regions of the country, reported Africa News.
During a press conference at the party’s headquarters in Yaounde, Prof Maurice Kamto urged all opposition political parties, civil society, and religious groups to boycott the upcoming polls.
“Holding elections in Cameroon without having restored peace in the Northwest and Southwest regions… is sending a message that the people in these regions are not Cameroonians and, in so doing, enshrining the de facto partition of the country,” Mr. Kamto said.
He said his party is ready to fight the election if it is postponed to address the situation in the English speaking regions and reform the electoral system.
“Though the present electoral era favors our party, we are ready to support the postponement of the election date to resolve the crisis in the North West and South West regions and reform the electoral system…” the MRC president said.
Kamto, 65, was arrested in January this year after months of peaceful protests over the disputed results of an October 2018 presidential election. The election was won by President Paul Biya, who has ruled the Central African state with an iron fist for 37 years.
Kamto went on trial on charges of insurrection, hostility to the motherland and rebellion in September. A military court ordered his release in October at President Biya’s behest, a move seen as a surprise conciliatory gesture by the president.
Cameroon is currently witnessing an Anglophone revolt that started in its English-speaking provinces in 2016 after the people complained of being marginalized by the Francophone government. The violence has already claimed more than 3,000 lives.