17, April 2020
Cameroon’s main opposition leader said he wants a top court to declare a power vacuum because President Paul Biya hasn’t addressed the coronavirus crisis in the country.
Africa’s second-longest serving president has been criticized on social media for his silence amid the rapid spread of the disease. Cameroon diagnosed the first case of the coronavirus on March 6 and is now among the most affected countries in sub-Saharan Africa, with 855 patients. The 87-year-old was last seen on March 11 after receiving the U.S. ambassador.
“In the face of the unprecedented political situation in which our country finds itself, characterized by the prolonged and unexplained absence of the head of state, I have decided to act,” opposition leader Maurice Kamto said on his Facebook page Wednesday. Kamto called on the speaker of parliament to seize the Constitutional Court.
Known for his secretive leadership style and his frequent, months-long stays in Switzerland, Biya’s silence has also fueled widespread speculation about his health.