A rerun of the Parliamentary election in 11 constituencies in the North West and South West regions took place today, but like was the case on February 9, it was not void of tension.
Following closing of the polls at 6 PM local time, Territorial Administration Minister, Paul Atanga Nji says the process went on hitch-free.
The re-run concerned the Menchum-Nord, Menchum-
South, Mezam-Centre, Mezam-North, Mezam-South, BuiCentre, Bui-South, Bui-West, Momo-East and Momo-West constituencies in the North-West Region, and the Lebialem constituency in the South-West Region.
While assessing the exercise, Minister Atanga Nji said “polling stations opened at 8 a.m. and closed at 6 p.m. in accordance with provisions of the law.”
“Based on exit-poll reports from Administrative Authorities, the Minister of Territorial Administration, Government’s agent in the electoral process, can state unequivocally that today’s polls were calm, free and fair” he stated.
The Minister adds that “no major incident likely to affect the smooth conduct of this by-election or its credibility has been reported by administrative authorities and law enforcement officers.”
“Like in the past, Administrative Authorities, alongside defence and security forces, provided ELECAM with appropriate security coverage in its mission, and this, to the satisfaction of all the political stakeholders involved. Accredited observers, who opted to go to the field, did their work freely” Minister Atanga Nji went on.
Results of today’s polls the Minister said “will be proclaimed by the Constitutional Council, the only body vested with the powers to do so.”
Despite Atanga Nji’s remarks, three persons are alleged to have been killed today in the crisis hit regions; an Ambazonian fighter and two government soldiers. Reports from some inhabitants of the regions equally show that the day was marred with gun shots between the soldiers and the Separatists. Several potential voters were compelled to stay indoors.
A few dared to vote and were protected by the military, with students allegedly paid to vote. Some are said to have received 2000FCFA and others 2500FCFA.
It should be noted that the Minister had made similar statements of the atmosphere that characterized the February twin elections only to see the voting annulled in some constituencies by the Constitutional council. Separatists had intensified another lockdown, insisting the voting will not take place.