Biya keeps Cameroon guessing as party tenure ends

The ruling Cameroon People's Democratic Movement supporters. NDI EUGENE NDI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

The mandate of Paul Biya as the president of the ruling Cameroon People's Democratic Movement (CPDM) expires by Thursday midnight.

He was re-elected national president for a period of five years during the CPDM 3rd ordinary congress on September 15, 2011.

President Biya was expected to convene another congress this week to renew his mandate, but has left party members in a fix and speculating whether it would ever be convened.

Mr Saint Eloi Bidoung, a militant and deputy mayor of the Yaoundé VI municipal council said he was pessimistic that the congress would be held anytime soon.

However, Article 18 of the party’s statute prescribes that members of the politburo can meet and extend the mandate of the national president.

Members of the said politburo—the major decision making organ of the party, are appointed by the national president.

Supports of Cameroon's ruling CPDM during the party's anniversary in March 2016. PHOTO | NDI EUGENE NDI

President Biya has consistently been re-elected as national chairman of the party since its creation in 1985, when it was known as the Cameroonian National Union.

Article 27 states that “the National Chairman of the CPDM shall be the party’s candidate for presidential elections,” thus, the 83-year-old Biya's mandate must be renewed should he intend to seek re-election when his current seven-year term as president of the republic ends in two years.

CPDM members and Cameroonians in the diaspora have been amplifying calls of support and encouragement for President Biya to stand as their candidate for the presidency.

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