The President of Cameroon Paul Biya says he will run for re-election in October this year. He is one of the longest serving leaders of an African country.
The 85 year old said on Friday that he intends extending his stay in office beyond the current 36 years.
In a tweet Biya said “I am willing to respond positively to your overwhelming calls. I will stand as Your Candidate in the upcoming presidential election”.
Biya came into power in 1982 when his predecessor then retired. He became president after serving as prime minister for seven years.
Mr Biya ranks high on the list of longest-ruling leaders on the continent.
The president of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo who has been in power for 38 years is leading the chart.
Other longest serving African leaders include Congolese President Denis Sassou Nguesso (33 years), Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni (31years) and King Mswati III of Swaziland (31years).
Biya supervised over the scraping of term limits from the Cameroon constitution in 2008.
That allows him to run again, a decision that sparked violence in the past.
Clashes with Citizens
President Biya has recently clashed with citizens of his country from the English-speaking regions.
There have been agitations with accusations that the Francophone majority is discriminating against them.
Their concerns range from not getting job opportunities and having legal systems solely in French language.
Those claims have been rejected by the government. There has been a crackdown on dissents with hundreds arrested.
Cameroon was colonised by Germany but was split into British and French areas after World War One.