Africa's longest serving president looks to anoint son as next leader

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Africa’s oldest president, preparing to enter his fifth decade in power, may finally have a successor waiting in the wings: his eldest son.

1618796344313.png

Cameroon's incumbent President Paul Biya, of the Cameroon People's Democratic Movement party, casts his vote during the presidential elections in Yaounde, Cameroon, on Sunday Oct. 7, 2018.

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Paul Biya, the 88-year-old autocrat who has dominated Cameroon for the past 39 years, is sometimes described as the world’s longest-ruling non-royal leader – if his seven years as prime minister are added to his decades as president.

And now some of his loyalists are campaigning for a quasi-monarchical transition. They call themselves “Franckistes,” and their goal is simple: to groom the President’s son, 49-year-old businessman Franck Biya, to succeed him. Rumours of a father-to-son handover have been splashed across newspaper front pages and social media in recent weeks.

If it happens, it will be another tumble in the backward slide of democracy in Africa and many other parts of the world. Freedom House, a U.S.-based organization, reported last month that 2020 was the 15th consecutive year of decline in global freedom. “The long democratic recession is deepening,” it said.

Freedom House estimated that less than 20 per cent of the world’s population is now living in a free country – the smallest percentage since 1995.

In a growing number of African countries, the deterioration of democracy has been marked by attempts to perpetuate the power of long-dominant families. In Togo and Gabon, sons have already succeeded their fathers as rulers, allowing their families to remain in control for more than half a century. Similar dynastic accessions to power have been rumoured in Equatorial Guinea, Uganda and the Republic of Congo.

And now Cameroon may become the next example. The Franckistes say they are organizing themselves across the country and in the Cameroonian diaspora to support the man they call “our champion” – the President’s son.

1618796563039.png


Franck Biya is a reclusive entrepreneur who has avoided the political spotlight. He is reported to have interests in the forestry sector and other private investments. But his backers are convinced that he is best qualified to succeed his father.

“We are charmed by his extraordinary humility, his exemplary behaviour, which should be copied by all our compatriots,” said Mohamed Rahim Noumeu, a business mogul who leads the Citizen Movement of Franckistes for the Peace and Unity of Cameroon.

Mr. Noumeu insists his movement has no connection to Cameroon’s government or ruling party. Its goal, he said, is simply “to ensure a peaceful transition in Cameroon in the coming years” with Franck Biya at the helm.

Officially the question of succession is a taboo topic within the ruling party, the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement, because the President still has four years remaining in his term. The next election is not scheduled until 2025, by which time the President will be 92.

But in recent weeks, front-page articles in Cameroonian newspapers have been touting the possibility of a father-to-son handover, while social media has been buzzing with photos and videos of Franck Biya.


Cameroon has had only two heads of state since its independence in 1961. Opposition parties and independent analysts have described the country’s elections as routinely rigged. The ruling party voted in 2008 to amend the constitution to remove presidential term limits, allowing Mr. Biya to stay in power indefinitely.

Since then, he has become notorious for spending months at a luxury hotel in Geneva. Opponents called him “the President of the Hotel Intercontinental.” In some years, he has spent as much as a third of the year outside Cameroon.

An investigation in 2018 by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project estimated that Mr. Biya had spent US$182-million on his private travel since becoming President. During his Geneva jaunts, he has reportedly spent US$40,000 a day for hotel accommodations for himself and his entourage of as many as 50 bodyguards, politicians, butlers and other staff.

Meanwhile, among ordinary Cameroonians, frustrations have been growing over widespread poverty and war. Almost half the population has an income of less than US$2 a day, despite the country’s oil and cocoa resources. Military conflict and human-rights abuses have been fuelled by confrontations with the Boko Haram radical Islamist militia in the north and separatist forces in the English-speaking regions of the country.

As these pressures mount, it may be difficult for the ruling party to engineer a familial succession. Despite the Franckiste campaign, Franck Biya still lacks popularity or much of a profile, analysts say.

“I see the ongoing campaign as a teaser to see if people even know about Franck Biya, to see if people see him as a possible leader,” said Eyong Tarh, a human-rights activist and media commentator in the capital, Yaoundé.

In particular, the campaign is trying to gauge support among Cameroon’s youth, a key political constituency, Dr. Tarh said.

But even if the manoeuvre fails, it is unlikely to deter other African dynasties.

Paul Biya’s rival as the world’s longest-serving president, Teodoro Obiang of Equatorial Guinea, who has ruled his country since seizing power in a 1979 coup, has already installed his son as his vice-president and presumed successor.

In the Republic of Congo, President Denis Sassou Nguesso – who has ruled for 37 years – is reportedly seeking to anoint his son, Denis Christel, as his successor.
 
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I'm just glad my parents made the decision to official become Kenyan citizens. Cameroon is literally a sh#thole. Just look at the cities and compare them to other African cities. It has been 40 years of darkness and another 40 years of backwardness by way of their president's son who is no doubt being groomed to take over. And then the fact that they are puppets to the French language and the French system.

I will never in my lifetime step foot in Cameroon. NEVER! I am so grateful for my American citizenship and I cannot wait to get my Kenyan citizenship. As it stands, there is no hope for Cameroon. I'm literally done with this country. A country with NO VISION.
 
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He has got Mugabe beat who held Zimbabwe for 37 years. Only death will remove these geriatric dictators, hopefully the citizens are preparing for this man's death and can make a move one day
 
I have spoken ...
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He has got Mugabe beat who held Zimbabwe for 37 years. Only death will remove these geriatric dictators, hopefully the citizens are preparing for this man's death and can make a move one day
+1
Mugabe was fighting White settlers. Mugabe used that excuse to consolidate power.
IF he was a Western puppet like Paul Biya, Western media would not criticize him
what's the Cameroon's President's excuse ?
Selfishness and Arrogance
 
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How do African leaders sleep at night knowing how many lives they’ve ruined? A bunch sociopaths!
There's a reason why they spend 3/4 of their time elsewhere. It's because they know they can't sleep soundly in their own.
Either way, I can't get myself to be mad anymore. Politicians are nothing more than criminals these days, only they get to steal legally.
 
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Cameroon is in the dark ages compared to the rest of Africa. No improvement what’s over. This guy eats up all the ressources and builds nothing.
This!
My family always tell me how people would look at us in admiration 50/60 years ago and now... nothing.
A country full of resources that hasn’t advanced in nothing but corruption.

A shame.
 
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Many of my cameroonian family works for the government and they’re happy about Biya’s rule because it serves their interests. Disgusting! I’m never going back to live there. I’m so happy my mom sacrificed a lot to get us out of there. I feel sorry for the people because I remember everybody around me being really hardworking no matter if they had nothing. What’s the future for a country where the government stops all prospects of progress? Even if cameroonian immigrants come back to improve the country, government corruption is still gonna get in the way.
 
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A lot of African leaders need to be removed but that would mean a civil war and sadly our lands back home can't survive more war. These leaders know this and use it to their advantage so while they steal all the resources their people are starving.
 
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Cameroon is so corrupted this is sad.

A coworker is getting married but he needed to have some type of authorization from the government, they refused to hand it to him and forced him to renounce his citizenship because he is marrying a French woman in France. He also wanted to have a passport made for his mother to come to the wedding, he has been waiting for 2 years, the reason: they have a passport paper shortage...
 
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A lot of African leaders need to be removed but that would mean a civil war and sadly our lands back home can't survive more war. These leaders know this and use it to their advantage so while they steal all the resources their people are starving.
Cameroon is at war now. The part where my family is from(Bamenda), is not safe. For Biya to do this when his country is at war and economically unstable is reckless and irresponsible. He’s a sociopath and a narcissist.
 
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A lot of African leaders need to be removed but that would mean a civil war and sadly our lands back home can't survive more war. These leaders know this and use it to their advantage so while they steal all the resources their people are starving.
Cameroon BEEN at war for quite some time now; just ask our brothers in the Anglophone area :/
 
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I am saying this as an African myself, but African leaders seem so demonic, and seem hellbent on their country conforming to negative stereotypes.They enjoy seeing their people poor and miserable. Black people are truly wicked
 
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Cameroon is so corrupted this is sad.

A coworker is getting married but he needed to have some type of authorization from the government, they refused to hand it to him and forced him to renounce his citizenship because he is marrying a French woman in France. He also wanted to have a passport made for his mother to come to the wedding, he has been waiting for 2 years, the reason: they have a passport paper shortage...
It is like there is some sort of deep envy with the Cameroonian authorities. My dad has been denied a visa to cameroon multiple times only because he became a naturalized American citizen (since the 80s) and he no longer has his cameroonian passport. The last time he tried to go to cameroon was because his dad was ailing and he was looking to expedite him to the US for treatment. But these demonic cameroonian authorities denied him a visa and my granddad died as a result of this. This was my dad's last straw and he decided to give cameroon the boots.

Wickedness + Corruption + Envy = Cameroon
 
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Africa’s oldest president, preparing to enter his fifth decade in power, may finally have a successor waiting in the wings: his eldest son.

View attachment 2485650
Cameroon's incumbent President Paul Biya, of the Cameroon People's Democratic Movement party, casts his vote during the presidential elections in Yaounde, Cameroon, on Sunday Oct. 7, 2018.

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Paul Biya, the 88-year-old autocrat who has dominated Cameroon for the past 39 years, is sometimes described as the world’s longest-ruling non-royal leader – if his seven years as prime minister are added to his decades as president.

And now some of his loyalists are campaigning for a quasi-monarchical transition. They call themselves “Franckistes,” and their goal is simple: to groom the President’s son, 49-year-old businessman Franck Biya, to succeed him. Rumours of a father-to-son handover have been splashed across newspaper front pages and social media in recent weeks.

If it happens, it will be another tumble in the backward slide of democracy in Africa and many other parts of the world. Freedom House, a U.S.-based organization, reported last month that 2020 was the 15th consecutive year of decline in global freedom. “The long democratic recession is deepening,” it said.

Freedom House estimated that less than 20 per cent of the world’s population is now living in a free country – the smallest percentage since 1995.

In a growing number of African countries, the deterioration of democracy has been marked by attempts to perpetuate the power of long-dominant families. In Togo and Gabon, sons have already succeeded their fathers as rulers, allowing their families to remain in control for more than half a century. Similar dynastic accessions to power have been rumoured in Equatorial Guinea, Uganda and the Republic of Congo.

And now Cameroon may become the next example. The Franckistes say they are organizing themselves across the country and in the Cameroonian diaspora to support the man they call “our champion” – the President’s son.

View attachment 2485660

Franck Biya is a reclusive entrepreneur who has avoided the political spotlight. He is reported to have interests in the forestry sector and other private investments. But his backers are convinced that he is best qualified to succeed his father.

“We are charmed by his extraordinary humility, his exemplary behaviour, which should be copied by all our compatriots,” said Mohamed Rahim Noumeu, a business mogul who leads the Citizen Movement of Franckistes for the Peace and Unity of Cameroon.

Mr. Noumeu insists his movement has no connection to Cameroon’s government or ruling party. Its goal, he said, is simply “to ensure a peaceful transition in Cameroon in the coming years” with Franck Biya at the helm.

Officially the question of succession is a taboo topic within the ruling party, the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement, because the President still has four years remaining in his term. The next election is not scheduled until 2025, by which time the President will be 92.

But in recent weeks, front-page articles in Cameroonian newspapers have been touting the possibility of a father-to-son handover, while social media has been buzzing with photos and videos of Franck Biya.


Cameroon has had only two heads of state since its independence in 1961. Opposition parties and independent analysts have described the country’s elections as routinely rigged. The ruling party voted in 2008 to amend the constitution to remove presidential term limits, allowing Mr. Biya to stay in power indefinitely.

Since then, he has become notorious for spending months at a luxury hotel in Geneva. Opponents called him “the President of the Hotel Intercontinental.” In some years, he has spent as much as a third of the year outside Cameroon.

An investigation in 2018 by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project estimated that Mr. Biya had spent US$182-million on his private travel since becoming President. During his Geneva jaunts, he has reportedly spent US$40,000 a day for hotel accommodations for himself and his entourage of as many as 50 bodyguards, politicians, butlers and other staff.

Meanwhile, among ordinary Cameroonians, frustrations have been growing over widespread poverty and war. Almost half the population has an income of less than US$2 a day, despite the country’s oil and cocoa resources. Military conflict and human-rights abuses have been fuelled by confrontations with the Boko Haram radical Islamist militia in the north and separatist forces in the English-speaking regions of the country.

As these pressures mount, it may be difficult for the ruling party to engineer a familial succession. Despite the Franckiste campaign, Franck Biya still lacks popularity or much of a profile, analysts say.

“I see the ongoing campaign as a teaser to see if people even know about Franck Biya, to see if people see him as a possible leader,” said Eyong Tarh, a human-rights activist and media commentator in the capital, Yaoundé.

In particular, the campaign is trying to gauge support among Cameroon’s youth, a key political constituency, Dr. Tarh said.

But even if the manoeuvre fails, it is unlikely to deter other African dynasties.

Paul Biya’s rival as the world’s longest-serving president, Teodoro Obiang of Equatorial Guinea, who has ruled his country since seizing power in a 1979 coup, has already installed his son as his vice-president and presumed successor.

In the Republic of Congo, President Denis Sassou Nguesso – who has ruled for 37 years – is reportedly seeking to anoint his son, Denis Christel, as his successor.
These African president are crazy.

FRANK Biya is kind of cute tho ...
 
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Africa’s oldest president, preparing to enter his fifth decade in power, may finally have a successor waiting in the wings: his eldest son.

View attachment 2485650
Cameroon's incumbent President Paul Biya, of the Cameroon People's Democratic Movement party, casts his vote during the presidential elections in Yaounde, Cameroon, on Sunday Oct. 7, 2018.

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Paul Biya, the 88-year-old autocrat who has dominated Cameroon for the past 39 years, is sometimes described as the world’s longest-ruling non-royal leader – if his seven years as prime minister are added to his decades as president.

And now some of his loyalists are campaigning for a quasi-monarchical transition. They call themselves “Franckistes,” and their goal is simple: to groom the President’s son, 49-year-old businessman Franck Biya, to succeed him. Rumours of a father-to-son handover have been splashed across newspaper front pages and social media in recent weeks.

If it happens, it will be another tumble in the backward slide of democracy in Africa and many other parts of the world. Freedom House, a U.S.-based organization, reported last month that 2020 was the 15th consecutive year of decline in global freedom. “The long democratic recession is deepening,” it said.

Freedom House estimated that less than 20 per cent of the world’s population is now living in a free country – the smallest percentage since 1995.

In a growing number of African countries, the deterioration of democracy has been marked by attempts to perpetuate the power of long-dominant families. In Togo and Gabon, sons have already succeeded their fathers as rulers, allowing their families to remain in control for more than half a century. Similar dynastic accessions to power have been rumoured in Equatorial Guinea, Uganda and the Republic of Congo.

And now Cameroon may become the next example. The Franckistes say they are organizing themselves across the country and in the Cameroonian diaspora to support the man they call “our champion” – the President’s son.

View attachment 2485660

Franck Biya is a reclusive entrepreneur who has avoided the political spotlight. He is reported to have interests in the forestry sector and other private investments. But his backers are convinced that he is best qualified to succeed his father.

“We are charmed by his extraordinary humility, his exemplary behaviour, which should be copied by all our compatriots,” said Mohamed Rahim Noumeu, a business mogul who leads the Citizen Movement of Franckistes for the Peace and Unity of Cameroon.

Mr. Noumeu insists his movement has no connection to Cameroon’s government or ruling party. Its goal, he said, is simply “to ensure a peaceful transition in Cameroon in the coming years” with Franck Biya at the helm.

Officially the question of succession is a taboo topic within the ruling party, the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement, because the President still has four years remaining in his term. The next election is not scheduled until 2025, by which time the President will be 92.

But in recent weeks, front-page articles in Cameroonian newspapers have been touting the possibility of a father-to-son handover, while social media has been buzzing with photos and videos of Franck Biya.


Cameroon has had only two heads of state since its independence in 1961. Opposition parties and independent analysts have described the country’s elections as routinely rigged. The ruling party voted in 2008 to amend the constitution to remove presidential term limits, allowing Mr. Biya to stay in power indefinitely.

Since then, he has become notorious for spending months at a luxury hotel in Geneva. Opponents called him “the President of the Hotel Intercontinental.” In some years, he has spent as much as a third of the year outside Cameroon.

An investigation in 2018 by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project estimated that Mr. Biya had spent US$182-million on his private travel since becoming President. During his Geneva jaunts, he has reportedly spent US$40,000 a day for hotel accommodations for himself and his entourage of as many as 50 bodyguards, politicians, butlers and other staff.

Meanwhile, among ordinary Cameroonians, frustrations have been growing over widespread poverty and war. Almost half the population has an income of less than US$2 a day, despite the country’s oil and cocoa resources. Military conflict and human-rights abuses have been fuelled by confrontations with the Boko Haram radical Islamist militia in the north and separatist forces in the English-speaking regions of the country.

As these pressures mount, it may be difficult for the ruling party to engineer a familial succession. Despite the Franckiste campaign, Franck Biya still lacks popularity or much of a profile, analysts say.

“I see the ongoing campaign as a teaser to see if people even know about Franck Biya, to see if people see him as a possible leader,” said Eyong Tarh, a human-rights activist and media commentator in the capital, Yaoundé.

In particular, the campaign is trying to gauge support among Cameroon’s youth, a key political constituency, Dr. Tarh said.

But even if the manoeuvre fails, it is unlikely to deter other African dynasties.

Paul Biya’s rival as the world’s longest-serving president, Teodoro Obiang of Equatorial Guinea, who has ruled his country since seizing power in a 1979 coup, has already installed his son as his vice-president and presumed successor.

In the Republic of Congo, President Denis Sassou Nguesso – who has ruled for 37 years – is reportedly seeking to anoint his son, Denis Christel, as his successor.
These African president are crazy.

FRANK Biya is kind of cute
I'm just glad my parents made the decision to official become Kenyan citizens. Cameroon is literally a sh#thole. Just look at the cities and compare them to other African cities. It has been 40 years of darkness and another 40 years of backwardness by way of their president's son who is no doubt being groomed to take over. And then the fact that they are puppets to the French language and the French system.

I will never in my lifetime step foot in Cameroon. NEVER! I am so grateful for my American citizenship and I cannot wait to get my Kenyan citizenship. As it stands, there is no hope for Cameroon. I'm literally done with this country. A country with NO VISION.
You're doing to much.

Are you really from Cameroon??
 

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