Is a Biya political dynasty taking shape in Cameroon? | DW News

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    Paul Biya has ruled Cameroon for almost 40 years. When his term ends in 2025 he will be in his 90s. And increasingly attention is turning to his successor, with his son Franck Biya considered one of the contenders to fill his father’s shoes. A number of political campaign groups have been stoking the fires of succession on his behalf. And raising the possibility of yet another political dynasty taking shape.

    There’s nothing official, but that hasn’t stopped newspapers from speculating about a possible political family hand-over. The word is that Franck Biya could replace his father as Cameroon’s president.

    IT specialist Gabrielle Aristide is struggling to convince everyone here that Franck Biya should become head of state. He is one of the thousands of Cameroonians who have expressed support for him. And he insists it has nothing to do with succession.

    Paul Biya has ruled Cameroon for almost 40 years. He has a firm grip on the army, legislation and judiciary. Analysts believe this could help him prepare his son to take over from him. Professor Ako John Ako says this is all too common in Africa.

    Most of Cameroon’s 25 million people are under 35 years old and have only known one president. There’s a desire for change, but many do not want another Biya to lead the country. Lena Fabrice is an opposition party member who has been organizing small anti-Biya protests. He is strongly opposed to having Frank Biya as the next president.

    By law, the president cannot hand over power. But even if Franck Biya becomes president by winning the election in 2025, many here will still see him as his father’s son.

    DW’s Blaise Eyong reports from Douala.

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    In This Story: Cameroon

    Cameroon, officially the Republic of Cameroon, is a country in Central Africa and West Africa.

    Cameroon is home to over 250 native languages spoken by nearly 25 million people. Cameroon became a German colony in 1884 known as Kamerun. In 1960, the French-administered part of Cameroon became independent. The southern part of British Cameroons federated with it in 1961 to form the Federal Republic of Cameroon. The federation was abandoned in 1972. The country was renamed the United Republic of Cameroon in 1972 and the Republic of Cameroon in 1984.

    The official languages of Cameroon are French and English. Its religious population consists of 70.7% Christians and 24.4% Muslims. It is governed as a Unitary presidential republic and has good relations with the major powers of France, the United Kingdom and China.

    The largest cities in population-terms are Douala on the Wouri River, its economic capital and main seaport, Yaoundé, its political capital, and Garoua.

    The country is well known for its successful national football team.

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