Biya keeps grip on Cameroon with landslide vote win

Thu Oct 17, 2013 12:03pm EDT

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* CPDM wins 148 of 180 seats in parliament vote

* Biya has ruled oil producer since 1982

YAOUNDE Oct 17 (Reuters) - Cameroon's veteran president Paul Biya kept his grip on power on Thursday when official results showed his ruling party secured a landslide win in a Sept. 30 parliamentary vote.

Biya, 80, has been in charge of the oil-producing Central African nation since 1982.

His Cameroon People's Democratic Movement (CPDM) party won 148 of 180 seats in the National Assembly - parliament's lower chamber - according to results published by the Supreme Court, down from the 156 seats it had in the last vote.

The party already controls 86 seats in the new 100-seat Senate upper house which was created following an April election.

The main opposition SDF came second with 18 and the remaining seats were shared out amongst smaller parties.

Opposition parties have criticised Cameroon's electoral system in the past, saying it allows Biya to keep a stranglehold on power. But there were no complaints of irregularities after the September vote.

The CPDM also won 305 of the 360 council seats contested in a parallel vote on the same day.

Cameroon, which has exported oil since the late 1970s, has seen its production slip in recent years to about 63,000 barrels per day, down from a peak of 185,000 barrels.

It has said it hopes output will rise to 100,000 barrels per day this year as firms use new techniques to tap matured wells and discover new ones. (Reporting by Tansa Musa; Writing by David Lewis; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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