Vote count under way in Cameroon

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Vote are being counted in Cameroon following Sunday’s presidential election in which Paul Biya is seeking to extend his 36-year tenure as head of state.

Observers say the count may take up to two weeks to complete.

The vote has largely passed off peacefully in the majority French-speaking part of the country but three people were shot dead by security forces in Bamenda, in the country’s Anglophone region.

Officials claimed the victims were separatists, adding that there had been gunfire throughout the region.

Tens of thousands of people were unable to cast their votes because of insecurity.

Of the country’s 24 million people, only 6.5 million were registered to vote as of Oct. 1, according to the election authority, reflecting resignation to a continuation of Biya’s long rule.

Polling stations were quiet throughout the day even in the capital.

Government spokesman Issa Tchiroma Bakary said the government had taken steps to ensure a smooth election. “It is not impossible that here and there they may be troublemakers,” he told journalists after he voted.

The African Union and other organisations monitored Sunday’s vote, but opposition candidates have already complained of efforts to fix the election in Biya’s favour.

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