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Cameroon 'mansion' to be built for election judge

Cameroon’s government has issued a public tender for the construction of a new residence for the president of the Constitutional Council, the same legal body that just two days ago announced the re-election of long-time President Paul Biya.

The timing of the tender has raised eyebrows.

According to the tender announcement, the construction of the residence should take less than eight months to complete and the estimated budget is 272m CFA ($473,000, £366,000).

The formation of the Constitutional Council was enshrined in the 1996 constitution, but its 11 members were only appointed by the president in February this year.

Paul Biya and his wife Chantal Biya (R)

President Biya, 85, has been in power since 1982

The council’s first public function was adjudicating the results of the presidential election held on 7 October.

Earlier this week, Clement Atangana, the council’s president, announced the President Biya had won a seventh term in office with 71% of the vote.

The council also dismissed the 18 petitions from the opposition candidates – some of whom alleged fraud.

Opposition candidate Maurice Kamto, who was placed second with just 14% of the votes, continues to dispute the official results.

While the tender indicates that the building in an upmarket area of the capital, Yaounde, will be a public structure, given the timing many Cameroonians view this as a gift specifically for Justice Atangana.

Officials did not respond to the BBC’s request for comment.

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