Voting started early in Cameroon on Sunday in crucial presidential polls being held against to decide the faith of 85-year-old President Paul Biya who is seeking another term after 36 years in office.
Biya has been the President of Cameroon since 6 November 1982.
He rose rapidly as a bureaucrat under President Ahmadou Ahidjo in the 1960s, serving as Secretary-General of the Presidency from 1968 to 1975.
He served as Prime Minister of Cameroon from 1975 to 1982.
He succeeded Ahidjo as president upon the latter’s surprise resignation in 1982 and consolidated power in a 1983–1984.
Biya introduced political reforms within the context of a one-party system in the 1980s.
Under serious pressure, he accepted the introduction of multiparty politics in the early 1990s.
The country has been facing agitation by the English speaking part, seeking for secession.
The Sunday presidential election is also being held against a backdrop of unprecedented violence in the country’s English-speaking regions, where citizens are clamouring for a breakaway.
“I’ve come early to avoid queues… I’ve done my civic duty, now we wait for the results,” said Joelle, 51, who was the second person to vote at the Bastos public school polling station in the capital Yaounde.