- Opposition candidate declares himself winner in the election
- Information minister terms Kamto an outlaw
- Sunday polls marked by violence in anglophone regions and low turnout
Cameroon's government called opposition presidential election candidate Maurice Kamto an "outlaw" on Monday after he defied warnings and declared himself victor of weekend polls ahead of official results.
Movement for the Rebirth of Cameroon (MRC) candidate Kamto's dramatic announcement followed Sunday polls marked by violence in restive anglophone regions, low turnout and difficulties staging the ballot in the conflict-torn areas.
"The government is responsible for protecting public order... as soon as someone goes against institutions, they will face the full force of the law," Information Minister Issa Tchiroma Bakary told AFP. "Kamto is an outlaw."
By law each polling station must submit its results, after verification by the Elecam electoral commission, to the Constitutional Court which is responsible for announcing the final, official tally within 15 days.
But at a media briefing in the capital Yaounde, Kamto proclaimed himself president-elect despite being unable to furnish any evidence for his claim. "I was charged with taking a penalty, I took it, and I scored," he said using a signature football metaphor to applause from supporters. "I have received a clear mandate from the people and I intend to defend it until the end."
A raft of unofficial results from Cameroon's almost 25,000 polling stations have already begun to circulate on social media.
Opposition candidates had called on their supporters to oversee the tallying process to prevent any fraud that might favour 85-year-old Paul Biya's quest for re-election.
"Times are tough. Rise up and prepare to defend your victory because there are some unbelievable things going on," said outsider opposition hopeful, Cabral Libii, who at 38 was the youngest candidate.