Paul Biya, Cameroon’s President celebrates an exceptional 41 years in power. This commemoration is both a tribute to his political longevity and an opportunity to reflect on Cameroon’s political future, particularly in view of the presidential election scheduled for 2025.
An irremovable President
In 1982, Paul Biya became President of Cameroon, succeeding Ahmadou Ahidjo. Since then, he has won six successive presidential elections, and is currently serving his seventh consecutive term. His longevity in power is remarkable, with almost 75% of the Cameroonian population having never known another leader. This longevity is fervently celebrated by his supporters across the country.
Calls for an Eighth Mandate
As the 2025 presidential elections loom on the horizon, calls for Paul Biya to run for an eighth term are multiplying. Members of his party, the Rassemblement démocratique du peuple camerounais (RDPC), openly advocate this perspective. They believe that Paul Biya remains the best option for guaranteeing the country’s stability and security.
However, some critics note that Paul Biya will reach the age of 92 in 2025, raising questions about the viability of this proposal. Internal divisions within the CPDM and the lack of renewal within the party add to the uncertainty.
The Uncertainties Surrounding Succession
The question of Paul Biya’s succession remains at the center of debate, even though the President has yet to make known his intentions for 2025. Several CPDM clans are preparing behind the scenes for a possible transition of power. Some members close to the President, such as Finance Minister Louis-Paul Motaze, may support his eldest son, Franck Biya, although the latter holds no official position.
However, Paul Biya’s strategy remains a mystery, as he has yet to name a successor. Cameroonians are looking forward to future developments.
A Retreating Presidency
In recent years, Paul Biya has gradually withdrawn from the public eye. His last appearance was on Independence Day in May 2023. His role is more to govern behind the scenes, while the Secretary General of the Presidency, Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh, manages day-to-day business. The president has not chaired a cabinet meeting since 2019.
The Call for Alternance
Despite Paul Biya’s 41-year reign, many generations of Cameroonians are yearning for political renewal. Questions about succession, the age of the current president and divisions within the CPDM are raising concerns about Cameroon’s future.
Paul Biya’s 41st anniversary in power is an opportunity to reflect on his political legacy and the uncertainties hanging over the next presidential election. Cameroonians are keeping a close eye on upcoming political developments, wondering whether significant changes are in store for their nation.