Paul Biya (born 13 February 1933) has been the President of Cameroon since November 6, 1982.
Government of Cameroon
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Paul Biya was born in the village of Mvomeka'a in the Centre-South Province of what was then French Cameroon. He is a member of the Beti-Pahuin ethnic group. He studied in Paris at Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po), where he graduated in 1961 with a diploma in International Relations.
He served 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 Minister of State in June 1970, while remaining Secretary General of the Presidency. He became Prime Minister on June 30, 1975. In June 1979, a law designated the Prime Minister as the President's constitutional successor. Following Ahidjo's resignation on November 4, 1982, Biya became President on November 6.
Biya survived a military coup attempt on April 6, 1984, following his decision on the previous day to disband the Republican Guard and disperse its members across the military. Estimates of the death toll ranged from 71 (according to the government) to about 1,000. Northern Muslims were the primary participants in this coup attempt, which was seen by many as an attempt to restore that group's supremacy; Biya, however, chose to emphasize national unity and did not focus blame on northern Muslims. Ahidjo was widely believed to have orchestrated the coup attempt,nd Biya is thought to have learned of the plot in advance and to have disbanded the Republican Guard as a reaction, forcing the coup plotters to act earlier than they had planned, which may have been a crucial factor in the coup's failure.
Biya won another seven-year term in the presidential election of October 11, 2004, officially taking 70.92 percent of the vote, although the opposition alleged widespread fraud. Biya was sworn in on November 3.
Biya is currently barred by a two-term limit in the 1996 Constitution from running for President again in 2011, but his supporters have been seeking to revise this to allow him to run again. In his 2008 New Year's message, Biya expressed support for revising the Constitution, saying that it was undemocratic to limit the people's choice.
(Information found at wikipedia.com)
(At a Glance)
Place of Origin: Cameroon