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Catholic church torn over Biya’s re-election

The dust is still to settle over the re-election of Paul Biya for another seven-year mandate as reactions continue to pour from both natinal and international stake holders.

Paul Biya, 85, was announced winner of the October 7 polls with 71.28 percent by Cameroon’s Constitutional Council though the opposition continue to dispute the results claiming widespread fraud and irrregularities.

The Catholic Church seemed to be in support of that position when it questioned the results proclaimed by the Constitutional Council.

The Archbishop of the Douala Metropolitan Archdiocese Mgr Samuel Kleda pulled no punches is questioning the results from the crisis-stricken Far North, North West and South West regions where Paul Biya had a landslide victory.

The cleric did not hide his disappointment at the decision of the Constitutional Council to throw out all 18 petitions filed in by opposition candidates for the cancellation of the polls on grounds of widespread fraud.

However, the Arcbishop Yaounde Mgr Jean Mbarga did not wait long to react in what seemed to be a contrary view to Samuel Kleda.

Mgr Jean Mbarga told state radio CRTV that the October 7 polls met all democratic standards and called on all Cameroonians to stay within the law and throw their weight behind the winner to build a stronger nation.

Christians and the clergy at this point in time should continue to pray the Holy Mary and Joseph for peace to reign in the country, Mgr Mbarga said.

The National Episcopal Conference, made up of Bishops of the ten regions, is expected to release a statement on the election, and it is still not clear what position it will take given the divergent views of twoprominent figures within the Conference.

This is not the first time the two bishops are holding divergent views over issues of national interest with both still torn over the Anglophone crisis as while the death of Bishop Jean Marie Benoit Bala over a year ago only helped to bring to expose their ideological differences.


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