Cameroon’s President Biya to run again at 85

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Cameroon president Paul Biya waves as he leaves the Elysee Palace following a meeting with French president at on January 30, 2013 in Paris. Biya is in Paris on a working visit to meet French business leaders. AFP PHOTO / PATRICK KOVARIK / AFP / PATRICK KOVARIK

Cameroon’s President Paul Biya has announced that he will be a candidate in the 7 October presidential election that would, if he wins, extend his 35-year-rule.

Mr Biya tweeted in French and in English: “I am willing to respond positively to your overwhelming calls. I will stand as your candidate in the upcoming presidential election.”

The 85-year-old leader has been in power since 1982, making him one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders.

Under his rule, Cameroon has survived an economic crisis and moved from being a one-party state to multiparty politics.

But it has also been marked by endemic corruption and reversal of democratic gains, leading to the abolition of term limits in 2008, which allowed the octogenarian to run for re-election in 2011.

The country is currently going through a period of strife sparked by calls for a breakaway state by residents of the English-speaking regions, who say they are discriminated against by the francophone majority.

Mr Biya’s government has responded with force, sparking deadly clashes with secessionist militias in the Anglophone North-West and South-West regions.

Source:bbc

 

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