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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Leader of Church in Cameroon calls on president not to seek re-election

Archbishop Samuel Kleda, the president of the bishops’ conference in Cameroon, says President Paul Biya should step down.

Kleda, who serves as the Archbishop of Douala, made his remarks as officials of the ruling Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement, CPDM, called on Biya to once more run for re-election in 2018, extending his 35-year rule.

In a wide-ranging interview with Cameroon’s French-language newspaper, La Nouvelle Expression, the archbishop said if the president “loves his country,” he will step away from office.

He said it would be better for Biya to think about a peaceful transition of power, “by giving power to someone else-either to a member of his political party, the CPDM or a member of the opposition.”

Kleda said those calling on the 84-year-old president to once more run for office are doing so only “to protect their personal interests and privileges…those people don’t love this country.”

Kleda is not the only Catholic prelate to call on the 85-year old president to resign. In 2012, the Emeritus Archbishop of Douala, Cardinal Christian Tumi, said it was necessary for Biya to step aside.

The cardinal said after 30 years in power and given the age of the president, it would be hard to see anything new he can bring.

“I would love to see a change. Change is always good,” Tumi told The Postnewspaper.

“I don’t see any change happening in Cameroon by 2035, the year the government claims will see the country transformed into an emerging economy,” he said.

Tumi explained that he wasn’t against the candidacy of Biya, but that at his age, regardless of endurance and physical strength, the president “can no longer run such a young and complex country.”

Both archbishops have also called for presidential term limits.

But supporters of the Biya regime have questioned the position of the churchmen, saying that it would be undemocratic to limit the terms of office of a president.

Source : crux now