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Biographie de Paul Biya (document en anglais)

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Paul Biya

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Paul Biya

Biya at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (2009)

President of Cameroon


Assumed office

6 November 1982

Prime Minister Bello Bouba Maigari

Luc Ayang

Sadou Hayatou

Simon Achidi Achu

Peter Mafany Musonge

Ephraïm Inoni

Philémon Yang

Preceded by Ahmadou Ahidjo

Prime Minister of Cameroon

In office

30 June 1975 – 6 November 1982

President Ahmadou Ahidjo

Preceded by Office established

Succeeded by Bello Bouba Maigari

Personal details

Born 13 February 1933 (age 80)

Mvomeka'a, French Cameroons

(now Cameroon)

Political party People's Democratic Movement

Spouse(s) Jeanne-Irène Biya (Before 1992)

Chantal Vigouroux (1994–present)

Alma mater French National School of Administration

Sciences Po

Religion Roman Catholic

Biya and U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell

Paul Biya (born Paul Barthélemy Biya'a bi Mvondo, 13 February 1933) is a Cameroonian politician who has been the President of Cameroon since 6 November 1982.[1][2] 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 power struggle with his predecessor.

Biya introduced political reforms within the context of a single-party system in the 1980s. Under pressure, he accepted the introduction of multiparty politics in the early 1990s. He narrowly won the 1992 presidential election with 40% 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.

Biya has maintained Cameroon's close relationship with France, Cameroon's former colonial ruler.

Contents [hide]

1 Personal life

2 Political career

3 Opposition and criticism

4 Notes

[edit]Personal life

Paul Biya was born in the village of Mvomeka'a[1][2] in the South Region of French Cameroon. He studied at lycee Louis Legrand, Sorbonne and Sciences Po Paris, where he graduated in 1961 with a diploma in International Relations. He married Jeanne-Irène Biya, who did not have any children, though she adopted Franck Biya who was born from a relationship of Paul Biya with another woman.[citation needed] After Jeanne-Irène Biya died on 29 July 1992, Paul Biya married Chantal Biya (38 years Paul's junior) on 23 April 1994,[2] and he has had two more children with her.

[edit]Political career

As an official in post-independence 1960s Cameroon, Biya rose to prominence under President Ahmadou Ahidjo. After becoming Director of the Cabinet of the Minister of National Education in January 1964 and Secretary-General of the Ministry of National Education in July 1965, he was named Director of the Civil Cabinet of the President in December 1967 and Secretary-General of the Presidency (while remaining Director of the Civil Cabinet) in January 1968. He gained the rank of Minister in August 1968 and the rank of Minister of State in June 1970, while remaining Secretary-General of the Presidency. Following the creation of a unitary state in 1972, he became Prime Minister of Cameroon on 30 June 1975. In June 1979, a law designated the Prime Minister as the President's constitutional successor. Ahidjo unexpectedly announced his resignation on 4 November 1982, and Biya accordingly succeeded him as President of Cameroon on 6 November.[1][2]

Because Biya is a Christian from southern Cameroon, it was considered surprising that he was chosen by Ahidjo, a Muslim from the north, as his successor. After Biya became President, Ahidjo initially remained head of the ruling Cameroon National Union (CNU). Biya was brought into the CNU Central Committee and Political Bureau and was elected as the Vice-President of the CNU. On 11 December 1982, he was placed in charge of managing party affairs in Ahidjo's absence. During the first months after Biya's succession, he continued to show loyalty to Ahidjo, and Ahidjo continued to show support for Biya, but in 1983 a deep rift developed between the two. Ahidjo went into exile in France, and from there he publicly accused Biya of abuse of power and paranoia about plots against him. The two could not be reconciled despite efforts by several foreign leaders. After Ahidjo resigned as CNU leader, Biya took the helm of the party at an "extraordinary session" of the CNU party held on 14 September 1983.[3]

In November 1983, Biya announced that the next presidential election would be held on 14 January 1984; it had been previously scheduled for 1985. He was the sole candidate in this election and won 99.98% of the vote.[3] In February 1984, Ahidjo was put on trial in absentia for alleged involvement in a 1983 coup plot, along with two others; they were sentenced to death, although Biya commuted their sentences to life in prison, a gesture seen by many as a sign of weakness.[4] Biya survived a military coup attempt on 6 April 1984, following his decision on the previous day to disband the Republican Guard and disperse its members across the military.[3] Estimates of the death toll ranged from 71 (according to the government)[4]


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