Paul Biya

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Paul Biya
Image:Biya behind podium.jpg

President Paul Biya of Cameroon at the inauguration of the new U.S. Embassy to Cameroon, 16 February 2006<small/>

Assumed office 
6 November 1982
Preceded by Ahmadou Ahidjo

In office
1975 – 1982
President Ahmadou Ahidjo
Succeeded by Bello Bouba Maigari

Born 13 February 1933
Mvomeka'a, Centre-South Province, French Cameroon

Paul Biya (born 13 February 1933) has been the President of Cameroon since 1982.


[edit] Personal life

Biya was born in the village of Mvomeka'a in the Centre-South Province of what was then French Cameroon. He is a member of Beti-Pahuin ethnic group. He studied in Paris at Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po), where he graduated in 1961 with a diploma in international relations. He married Jeanne-Irène Biya and had a son Franck Biya. Jeane Ireine Biya died in 1992 and Paul Biya married Chantal Biya in 1994 with whom he has had two more children.

[edit] Political career

He served under President Ahmadou Ahidjo and became Prime Minister in 1975. Ahidjo resigned on 6 November 1982 and Biya became president, as Ahidjo's hand-picked successor. However, after Ahidjo resignation, Biya repudiated some of Ahidjo's policies, replaced most of Ahidjo's cabinet, and eventually Ahidjo was forced into exile.

Biya has been criticized by some as being a strongman, and is sometimes considered to be aloof from the people. He has also been strongly criticized by the Anglophones (the English-speaking people of Cameroon who live in the region formerly under British Colonial rule) for their marginalisation and oppression. His strongest opposition is from this region of Cameroon.

In 1992, Biya won the first multiparty elections, but received only about 40% of the vote and a relatively small margin over opposition candidate John Fru Ndi, who received about 36%. In 1997, he was re-elected with 92.6% of the vote, but the main opposition parties boycotted the election.<ref>Elections in Cameroon, African Elections Database.</ref> He won another seven-year term in the presidential election of 11 October 2004, officially taking 70.92% of the vote, but the opposition alleged widespread fraud.<ref>"Cameroon's Supreme Court confirms Biya's re-election" Agence France Presse (October 25, 2004)</ref>

[edit] Notes


[edit] External links

Preceded by:
Prime Minister of Cameroon
Succeeded by:
Bello Bouba Maigari
Preceded by:
Ahmadou Ahidjo
President of Cameroon
Succeeded by:

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Paul Biya

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