Cameroon held its first ever Senatorial elections at the weekend. The institution was created in 1996, but no elections have ever been held. That has now changed.
There are 100 Senators, 70 of whom are elected in 10 different regions by representatives of local government, the other 30 being appointed by the president.
The President is Paul Biya of the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (RDPC). He has been in power since 1982.
Jeune Afrique reports that the RDPC list was disqualified prior to the election in two regions. Therefore, it could only win a maximum of 56 seats. This is exactly what happened, winning all 7 seats in the remaining 8 regions. The opposition Social Democratic Front (SDF) party won the 2 regions where the RDPC was disqualified.
In one region, North-East, there was the hope of a real contest. The region was very closely split between the RDPC and SDF electors and the historic opposition leader, John Fru Ndi, had hoped to win there. However, in the end he narrowly lost out.
Overall, the RDPC is likely to hold 86 of the 100 seats in the new Senate.