Monday, 6 November 2017

Cameroon President Paul Biya Marks 35 Years In Power

Cameroon's President Paul Biya is marking 35 years in office today - making him one of Africa's longest-serving leaders. Mr Biya was first elected in 1982, when the country had a one party system.

However, even though the country now has a multi-party system, he has managed to cling on to power.

In 2011, after a controversial rule change which allowed him to run again, he won another seven years in office, with 78% of the vote.

The landslide victory raised eyebrows among his opponents.

Mr Biya is part of a select group of African leaders who have ruled their countries for more than 30 years, with only Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe and Obian Ngema in Equatorial Guinea in power longer.
Cameroon President Paul Biya Marks 35 Years In Power
The 84-year-old, who critics accuse of being authoritarian, is expected to stand again next year.

President Paul Biya Brief  Biography:
In power since 1982, Paul Biya is seen as one of Africa's most entrenched leaders.

Cameroon's parliament in April 2008 passed a controversial amendment to the constitution enabling President Paul Biya to run for a third term of office in 2011.

The veteran politician went on to win a new seven-year term in the October 2011 election, in a vote that international observers said was marred by irregularities.

Mr Biya's opponents rejected the result - which gave him a landslide 78% of the vote - and alleged widespread fraud. Civil society movements accused Mr Biya of having locked down the electoral system to guarantee his return to power.

When Mr Biya first became president in 1982, it was within the context of a single-party system. He accepted the introduction of multi-party politics in the early 1990s and went on to win the 1992 presidential election by a narrow margin.

In the 1997 presidential election, which was boycotted by the main opposition parties, he was re-elected with more than 92% of the vote. At the next election, in 2004, he officially took more than 70% of the vote, though opposition parties alleged widespread fraud.

His party, the Cameroonian People's Democratic Movement (RDPC) has won landslide majorities in every legislative election since 1992.

Before becoming president, Mr Biya spent his entire political career in the service of President Ahmadou Ahidjo, becoming prime minister in 1975.

With Mr Ahidjo's resignation in 1982, he assumed the leadership and set about replacing his predecessor's northern allies with fellow southerners.

In 1983 he accused Mr Ahidjo of organising a coup against him, forcing the former president to flee the country.

Born in 1933, Paul Biya was educated in Cameroon and France, where he studied law at the Sorbonne.

Source - Cameroon President Paul Biya Marks 35 Years In Power.

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