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Paul Biya

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Paul Biya meeting with U.S. President George Bush in 2003.

Paul Biya is the President of Cameroon. He has been the country's president since 1982.

Biya was born on February 13, 1933 in the village of Mvomeka'a in Cameroon. At that time, the country was called French Cameroon. He studied at The Sorbonne and the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris in Paris, France. He graduated in 1961 with a bachelor's degree in public law and a diploma in international relations.

After graduating, Biya returned to Cameroon and worked in the government. In 1975, the President Ahmadou Ahidjo gave the job of Prime Minister to Biya. When President Ahidjo resigned on November 6, 1982, Biya became president of the country. Shortly afterwards, Ahidjo and Biya began feuding, and Ahidjo was forced to leave Cameroon.

Biya was elected as the President of Cameroon in 1984, 1988, 1992, 1997 and 2004, but other parties only have been allowed to enter the elections since 1992. The results many of these election results have been called fraudulent (achieved through unfair or illegal ways).

Many organizations, including Amnesty International, have criticized Biya's government for restricting the freedom of the people of Cameroon. These issues include control of the media (newspapers and radio and television stations) [1] and violations of human rights [2]. Biya's supporters point to the country's stability and high literacy rate.