YAOUNDE– The leader of Cameroon’s People’s Development Front (FDP), Akere Muna, has withdrawn his candidacy, ahead of Sunday Oct 7 presidential election to form a coalition with the Movement for the Rebirth of Cameroon’s (MRC) Maurice Kamto.

The two opposition parties joined together as an attempt to defeat incumbent President Paul Biya – who has been in power for six terms.

Cameroon’s authorities have been accused of unfairly favoring Biya, one of Africa’s longest-serving rulers, who won 78 percent of votes in 2011’s polls.

Communication Minister Issa Tchiroma Bakary said in a statement that “measures have been taken… to prevent any actions that might create violence or disorder around the elections.”

In a Twitter statement, Muna said: “I decided to withdraw my candidacy for the presidential election of October 7th, for the benefit of Mr. Maurice KAMTO. I firmly believe that the future of Cameroon is the top priority and is worth every personal sacrifice”

Muna said he decided to “withdraw” his candidacy in order to benefit Kamto.

Biya has been in power for 35 years and will bid for a seventh term when he faces seven challengers – following Muna’s withdrawal – at the polls Sunday.

The opposition front-runners are Kamto and main opposition Social Democratic Front’s Josh Osih, who was not included in the new alliance.

The African nation, which has a population of some 25 million people, was placed on lockdown for 48 hours before the polls are scheduled to be open on Sunday.

The security measures include the suspension of internal travel by road, rail and air from Saturday until the conclusion of voting.