Paul Biya: What Does 37 Years in Power Mean to Cameroon

Yaounde  — Cameroon's President Paul Biya marked 37 years in power in November. 

Supporters of the 86 year-old president say he has brought stability to Cameroon, a nation of 20 million with vast ethnic, linguistic and religious diversity.

Opponents call him a dictator who is corrupt and holds fraudulent elections. Rights group have accused his government of various abuses including an ongoing crackdown on homosexuality.

Biya assumed the presidency November 6, 1982 when his predecessor Ahmadou Ahidjo resigned.

He has won several elections since then, most recently in October 2018, winning the majority of the vote. Observers reported irregularities in the vote. 
Paul Biya

Only three African leaders have held power longer than Mr. Biya — Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe, Angola's Jose Eduardo dos Santos, and Equatorial Guinea's Teodoro Obiang.

A native of Cameroon's south, Biya rose rapidly as a bureaucrat under President Ahmadou Ahidjo in the 1960s, serving as Secretary-General of the Presidency from 1968 to 1975 and then as Prime Minister of Cameroon from 1975 to 1982. 

He succeeded Ahidjo as president upon the latter's surprise resignation in 1982 and consolidated power in a 1983–1984 staged attempted coup in which he eliminated all his rivals.

Biya introduced political reforms within the context of a one-party system in the 1980s. Under serious pressure, he accepted the introduction of multiparty politics in the early 1990s. 

He supposedly won the 1992 presidential election with 40 percent of the plural, single-ballot vote and was re-elected by large margins in 1997, 2004, and 2011. 

Opposition politicians and Western governments have alleged voting irregularities and fraud on each of these occasions. 

Many independent sources have proved that he did not win the elections in 1992, and the subsequent elections were a rampant fraud.

Biya is currently the longest-ruling non-royal leader in Africa and the oldest ruler in Sub-Saharan Africa after Robert Mugabe stepped down during the 2017 Zimbabwean coup d'état.

Biya has maintained Cameroon's close relationship with France, one of Cameroon's former colonial ruler besides the United Kingdom

0 comments :

Post a Comment