The legal tussle over Cameroon’s presidential election, held on 7 October, began on Tuesday with the Constitutional Council expected to adjudicate on 18 petitions that require the election to be either totally or partially annulled.

At least 100 members of the security forces surrounded the premises. Inside, all 11 members of the council, as well as some aggrieved candidates, their lawyers and supporters of various political parties, took up positions in the court room.

Those bringing petitions include Joshua Osih of the Social Democratic Front and Cabral Libii of the Univers party. They say the elections were mired in fraud and should be completely annulled.

Even Maurice Kamto, who had earlier proclaimed himself victor in the election, was in court to call for the cancellation of the vote in seven of Cameroon’s 10 administrative regions.

He says there were far too many irregularities.

The Constitutional Council has at most six days to decide on the petitions, and at the same time go through the final tallies of the election made available to it by the electoral commission on Monday.

It has to declare the result by 22 October at the latest.