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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 September, 2004, 09:12 GMT 10:12 UK
Cameroon leader seeks a new term
President of Cameroon
Paul Biya has been president since 1982
Cameroon's President Paul Biya has confirmed that he will stand for re-election in next month's polls.

Mr Biya, who has been in power for 22 years, said he was responding to popular calls for him to stand.

Various interest groups, including 100 former football players, have publicly urged him to seek re-election.

The BBC's Randy Joe Sa'ah in Bamenda says Mr Biya, 71, will be helped by the opposition's failure to unite behind a single candidate in the polls.

'Reassured'

Our correspondent also says that many Cameroonians fear the polls will not be free and fair because they are being organised, and the results will be announced by, the ministry of territorial administration, rather than a neutral body.

"Reassured of your support and aware of your confidence, this is why, in response to your call, I have decided to put forward my candidature for the next presidential election," Mr Biya told Cameroonians in an address on state television and radio.

On Tuesday, a coalition of 10 opposition parties announced after lengthy talks that Adamou Ndam Njoya from the Cameroon Democratic Union would be their candidate on 11 October.

But veteran opposition leader John Fru Ndi, who has strong backing in English-speaking regions, has rejected the decision.

Mr Fru Ndi, who was picked to lead the Social Democratic Front in the elections on Sunday, claims he won rigged elections in 1992.

Mr Njoya is a francophone politician and a former minister of education.


SEE ALSO:
Cameroon players back president
06 Sep 04  |  Africa
Timeline: Cameroon
27 Apr 04  |  Country profiles
Country profile: Cameroon
14 Jul 04  |  Country profiles


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