Africa’s oldest president, Cameroon’s Paul Biya, has easily won a seventh term after a Constitutional Council that he appointed rejected all legal challenges to the election.

Major cities saw heavy troop deployment Monday as the government banned all opposition rallies.

Biya won with more than 71% of the vote, far ahead of Maurice Kamto’s 14%.

The October 7 election had very low turnout in English-speaking regions after nearly a quarter-million people fled fighting between Anglophone separatists and security forces. Biya received over 75% of the vote in both regions.

The council called the vote free and fair.

The low turnout means a weaker mandate for the 85-year-old Biya, who has led since 1982.

Analysts warn of disaster if Biya doesn’t start preparing Cameroon for life without him.