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20The 1961 Constitution defined Cameroon as a Federal State under presidential political system. Here, the President of the Republic is the Head of State and Government. He is assisted by a Vice-President.1966: the multiparty system is suppressed. Political parties merged into one: CNU (Cameroon National Union). This marked the beginning of the single party system.UNITARY STATEEleven years after reunification, the idea of unity is once more expressed at the referendum of 20th May 1972. The result was 3.217.056 votes for, and 158 against. Therefore, Unitary Republic is formed out of East and West Cameroon to replace the former Federal Republic.The 1972 Constitution maintained the presiden- tial system. However, the President of the Republic is no longer assisted by a Vice- President. The two Federal States are suppressed and replaced by one State. The four Assemblies merged into one: the National Assembly.PRESIDENT BIYA’S ACCESSION TO THE SUPREME OFFICETwo major events occurred in Cameroon in November 1982: President Ahmadou Ahidjo suddenly resigned and Paul Biya, Prime Minister since 1975, took off power on 6th November in compliance with the Constitution amendment sta- ted in Law N°79/02 of 19th June 1979.In his keynote address on the swearing day at the National Assembly, Paul Biya made himself known to his fellow countrymen and the International Community. He immediately focu- sed his action on establishing democracy, social and economic liberalism, strict management policy and moral improvement of attitudes as well as strengthening of International Cooperation. According to many observers, Paul Biya appeared like the embodiment of new Cameroon aware of its potentials and claimant for a better place in the World community.Considered at first a model of transfer of power in Africa (like Abdou Diouf succeeding Leopold Sedar Senghor in Senegal at the head of the state few months before), the change of Cameroon’s Head of State witnessed many difficulties caused by Ahmadou Ahidjo who remained the Head of the single party, CNU (Cameroon National Union), and attempted to regain power he freely handed over to his successor. In order to properly handle this transitional period, Paul Biya holds many aces among which his education and professional expe- rience as well as support from the great majority of Cameroonians are worth noting.Born on 13th February 1933 in Mvomeka’a (Meyomessala Sub-Division, Dja et Lobo Division, South Province), of the late Etienne Mvondo Assam and late Mrs Mvondo née Anastasie Eyenga Elle, Paul Biya had a brilliant university career and obtained the following degrees: Licence en Droit Public (Bachelor Degree in Public Law), Diplôme de l’Institut d’Etudes Politiques (Institute for Political Studies Diploma), Diplôme de l’Institut des Hautes Etudes d’Outre-Mer (IHEOM), Diplôme d’Etudes Supérieures en Droit Public (Postgraduate Diploma in Public Law).His professional career is also impressive: Chargé de Mission at the Presidency of the Republic (October 1962); Director of the Cabinet of the Minister of Education (January1964); Secretary General of the Ministry of National Education (July 1965); Director of the Cabinet of the Presidency of the Republic (December 1967); Secretary General of the Presidency of the Republic and Director of the Civil Cabinet (January 1968); Minister of State, Secretary General of the Presidency of the Republic (June 1970); Prime Minister from 30th June 1975 to 5th November 1982.The population’s support to President Paul Biya during the political crisis at the beginning of the 1980’s is essential. Indeed, when the military coup against national security on 22nd August 1983 was announced, the great majority of Cameroonians lined up behind the newly elect President. Therefore, his predecessor was for- ced to step down from the Head of CNU, and he was replaced by Paul Biya enthroned during the party conference on 14th September 1983Nomination speech of President Paul Biya in 1982LES ATOUTS ECONOMIQUES DU CAMEROUN

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