Cameroon's main opposition party on Saturday selected deputy leader Joshua Osih as its presidential candidate to challenge the long-ruling President Paul Biya in elections later this year.

Osih was elected at a Social Democratic Front (SDF) party congress in the western city of Bamenda after veteran leader and perennial presidential hopeful John Fru Ndi ruled out running on Thursday.

Osih, a former businessman who hails from the troubled anglophone southwest of the country, told excited activists that he would mobilise the party in all 366 local authorities for the election expected to be held in October.

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"Etoudi is within our reach," he said, referring to the presidential residence.

He is fluent in both English and French, and the SDF draws much of its backing from two predominantly English-speaking enclaves in the west of Cameroon, formerly ruled by both Britain and France.

Tensions are high in the anglophone regions, where protesters who claim discrimination by the French-speaking majority have led to violence and a crackdown.

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