Cameroon’s main opposition party has accepted a challenge to debate with the ruling RDPC/CPDM live on TV, days after it organised anti-government protests in several towns and cities that were met with a crackdown.
“Figures against figures, facts against facts, strategy against strategy, and vision against vision,” pledged ruling party communication secretary Jacques Fame Ndongo in a press release.
“Debate is the strength of ideas and the strength of arguments. The street is provocation,” he added.
The opposition MRC/CRM’s leader Maurice Kamto is still under house arrest following Tuesday’s protests.
One of his deputies, Barrister Christopher Ndong, has told the BBC they “welcome the debate” as a “fundamental democratic principle”.
The main opposition party says 593 people were arrested as a result of the protests, and has said one person was killed and others were wounded. This has not been independently verified.
However reports indicate that several journalists covering the events were arrested. Some protesters in the economic hub of Douala were also shot at, and security forces used tear gas and water cannon.
The police has declined the BBC’s requests for comment.
Mr Kamto called for protests to force President Paul Biya, in power for 38 years, out of office.
Demonstrators were also demanding changes to the electoral code and the resolution of the Anglophone crisis.