The Cameroon Constitution states that power
sharing and multi-party systems should prevail. In
reality, the country's president has almost unlimited
power and can be re-elected as many times as possible.
President Paul Biya's party of the Cameroonian People's
Democratic Assembly (RDPC) dominates politics.
The President is Cameroon's Head of State, Head of
Government and Commander-in-Chief. They appoint the
government ministers, the country's judges and all
provincial governors. The Prime Minister's duties are
largely representative. In critical situations, the
president has the right to govern by decree.
Total population and chart of Cameroon for years of 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024. Also covers population density, birth rate, death rate and population growth rates.
Elections to the presidential post are held every
seven years. In 1996 it was decided that the president
should only be re-elected once. The term of office was
extended at the same time from five to seven years. In
2008, Parliament amended the constitution so that the
same person can be re-elected as president any number of
times and is also protected against prosecution even
The 1996 constitutional amendments also meant that
Parliament should be provided with an upper house and
that part of the power be decentralized to regional
assemblies. A special constitutional council would also
be created. It took until April 2013 before the upper
house was established, and the Constitutional Council
was implemented in February 2018. Decentralization is
going very slowly.
Parliament consists of a lower house, the
National Assembly, and an upper house, the
Senate. The National Assembly seats 180
members who are elected in general elections every five
years. The voting age is 21 years. The Senate has 100
members who also sit for five-year terms. 70 of them are
elected by regional and municipal representatives and 30
are appointed by the president. Laws must be passed by
both the National Assembly and the Senate. According to
the Constitution, the President of the Senate is to take
over power in the event that the President dies during
the term of office.
Cameroon consists of ten regions: the French-speaking
Adamaoua, Center, Est, Extrême Nord, Littoral, Nord,
Ouest and Sud as well as the English-dominated North
West and South West. The regions are in turn divided
into a total of 58 ministries with two sub-levels:
district districts and districts.
There are over 200 political parties registered in
Cameroon, but only a small number have been in the
elections that have been held since the introduction of
multi-party systems in 1992. Three parties are
represented in Parliament since the 2020 elections.
Matters do not play a major role in political life.
The parties are often built around a locally prominent
person. An important political dividing line is between
the French-speaking majority and the English-speaking
minority, which feels both politically and economically
The country's dominant party is the
Cameroonian People's Democratic Assembly (Rassemblement
Démocratique du Peuple Camerounais, RDPC),
which has its traditional power base in French-speaking
areas in central and southern Cameroon. The party is led
by President Paul Biya who himself comes from the south.
Since the 1997 parliamentary elections, the former
opposition party National Union for Democracy
and Progress (Union National pour la Democracy
et le Progrès, UNDP) has been part of
the government. With the UNDP's entry into government,
it has received strong support even among the Muslims in
The opposition is weak and divided. The largest
opposition party is the Social Democratic Front
(SDF), which mainly supports
in its original area, the English-speaking province of
North West. SDF is led by Ni John Mrs. Ndi.
While the SDF requires self-government for the
English speakers, the Southern Cameroon National
Council (Southern Cameroon's National Council,
SCNC) goes further than that. SCNC is
fighting for the English-speaking provinces to break
away from Cameroon. The movement is labeled as illegal
by the government and is not allowed to register as a
party because it is considered to stand for separatism.
Its members are being persecuted and thousands are said
to have fled the country.
Among the many parties outside Parliament are the
Cameroon Democratic Union (Union
Democratique du Cameroon, UDC), which
is mainly supported by the bamoun people in the west,
the Movement for Cameroon's rebirth (Mouvement
pour la Renaissance du Cameroun, MRC)
and the People's Development Front (FDP).
Tighter law against bribery
Special courts are set up to investigate persons suspected of bribery. When
President Biya reorganizes the government, the mutinous minister of public works
is dismissed (see November 2011).
Prison for homosexual acts
Three men are sentenced to five years in prison each for having had sex in
one car. The men deny this and say that they were imprisoned for being
femininely dressed. Homosexual acts are illegal in Cameroon.
Biya calls for anti-corruption efforts
Togo's National Commission on Corruption shows in a report that several
ministries have been involved in a number of corruption deals from 2008 to 2010.
One of those singled out is the Minister of Public Works, Bernard Messenge Avom,
who is accused of cutting large sums in connection with a road construction.
Biya orders that all ministers and officials suspected of corruption should be
held accountable for their actions.
Biya promises constitutional changes
Paul Biya resigns for the sixth term of office. In a speech, he promises to
transform Cameroon's economy through investments in agriculture, mining, energy
production and infrastructure development. Biya also promises to implement the
constitutional amendments adopted in 1995, which prescribe that Parliament
should have an upper house, that power be decentralized and that a
constitutional council be established.
President Biya is re-elected
President Paul Biya wins the presidential election with 78 percent of the
vote. The opposition accuses him of cheating.
Nightly driving ban for bus and taxi
The government prohibits all buses and taxis from driving at night to reduce
the many traffic accidents. Many accidents occur at night with alcohol-affected
Loans to deep sea port
China promises loans to build a deep-sea port in Kribi, from which Cameroon's
oil is shipped.