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Hon. Cavaye Clocks 52 In Parliament, Begins 30th Mandate As Speaker

Hon Cavaye chairing session at National Assembly

By Etienne Mainimo Mengnjo

The Member of Parliament, MP, for the Mayo-Sava constituency in the Far North Region, Hon. Cavaye Yeguie Djibril, has been re-elected as House Speaker of the Cameroon Lower House of Parliament. 

Hon. Cavaye of the CPDM Party was elected on March 18 during a Parliamentary session whose major item on the agenda was the election of the Bureau of the National Assembly. 

The Oldest Member of Parliament, Hon. Laurentine Nkoa Fegue, who has been chairing deliberations since the beginning of the session on March 11, presided over the plenary session. 

During the plenary, the President of the CPDM Parliamentary group, Jean Bernard Ndongo Essomba, presented Hon. Cavaye’s candidacy.

The 82-year-old MP from the Mayo-Sava constituency, after his overwhelming re-election is clocking 52 years in Parliament after beginning his duties at the National Assembly in 1970. His 52 years at the National Assembly have also seen him head the Parliament as House Speaker and he is getting into his 30th year as House Speaker, following his first election in 1992. 

However, Hon. Jean-Michel Nintcheu of the SDF party was the only MP who stood up to contest Hon. Cavaye in the election of the House Speaker. After the election, Hon. Cavaye obtained an overwhelming vote of 148 out of 161. Hon. Nintcheu emerged only with a single vote while 12 votes were declared null and void. 

Read More: Opening Session : Eldest MP Ignores  Anglophone Crisis

Besides the re-election of Hon. Cavaye, a total of 23 Members, including the 1st Vice-President, four Vice-Presidents, four Questors and 12 Secretaries were also elected. Hon. Hilarong Etong was re-elected 1st Vice President with 145 votes against 14 void. Even though the Bureau has not changed entirely, Hon. Mary Muyali Boya epse Meboka was elected as one of the Vice Presidents replacing late Hon. Emelia Lifaka.

Hon. Gladys Etombi Ikome was elected Deputy Chief Whip of the CPDM Parliamentary Group at the National Assembly as she replaces Hon. Mary Muyali Boya. Hon Élise Ndongo Pokossy of the CPDM was also elected as one of the Secretaries of the National Assembly. 

In the meantime, 88-year-old, Marcel Niat Njifenji, was re-elected as President of the Senate. Marcel Niat Njifenji, as the only candidate, emerged victorious with 84 votes out of 87. Three votes were invalid. Senator Niat Njifenji begins his ninth term in the Senate since his election on June 12, 2013.

Reactions form Parliamentarians

Shortly after the elections, Hon. Cavaye thanked the Head of State and Chairman of the CPDM party for restoring confidence in him. He added that he has never failed and will not fail as he promised to work with all MPs, irrespective of their political party. 

“This is a new challenge and I pray God that I should be able to concentrate on working on the effective representation of the population. I also pray that the population should also collaborate with us because we are there to control the Government on their behalf. If the population does not articulate their problems, they may think that you are not working well,”

Hon. Mary Muyali of the CPDM

“The CPDM is a political party that has the majority of MPs at the National Assembly. Nobody is surprised when this political party wins the majority of responsibility in the bureau. We cannot be surprised by the same thing every year. They have the majority and it is normal for them to win. My expectation is that this bureau should work, because, in the past years, they did not work.” Hon. Cabral Libii of PCRN

“I am extremely happy and satisfied because I decided to be a candidate at the moment when everything was maintained by the majority party with the candidacy of Cavaye Djibril. Knowing his party has decided to invest in him, I decided to declare my candidacy. I was not going in to be elected, but I wanted to send a signal and I am sure the signal has gone; the signal was well received. The signal was that, after passing over 30 years at the head of the institution, with what he has done, it was time for Hon. Cavaye to go on retirement.”

Hon. Jean Michel Nintcheu of SDF

“We have nothing to say concerning what has just happened. What we can say is that we will continue with the fight for our country, Cameroon, to become a real democratic country. For now and seeing what is happening, our country is still very far from becoming a democratic country.”

Hon. Adamou Koupit of UDC

Profile of Hon. Cavaye Yengui Djibril

Cavayé Yeguié Djibril was born on January 1, 1940 in Mada, Tokombéré Subdivision of the Mayo-Sava Division, in the Far North Region of the country. He studied at the regional physical education and sports centre from 1960 to 1963 and then taught in Maroua. 

He was appointed inter-ministerial inspector for the Far North in 1965 and entered the East Cameroon Legislative Assembly in April 1970; he also became the traditional Chief of the Mada in 1971. Following the creation of a unitary state, Cavayé was elected to the National Assembly of Cameroon in 1973 and obtained the position of questor in the bureau of the National Assembly. In 1975, he was included in the Central Committee of the ruling party, the Cameroon National Union, CNU.

After 10 years in the National Assembly, Cavayé was elected 2nd Vice President in 1983. In 1985, when President Paul Biya transformed the CNU into the CPDM, Cavayé was retained as a member of the Central Committee.

He served as 2nd Vice President of the National Assembly for five years. He left the legislature at the end of the term in 1988 to become assistant to the SDO of Diamaré Division. He returned to the National Assembly in the March 1992 legislative elections and was subsequently elected President of the National Assembly replacing late Lawrence Fonka Shang.

Cavayé was re-elected to the National Assembly in the May 1997 legislative elections and then for a second term as Speaker of the National Assembly in mid-1997. 

After Paul Biya was re-elected in the October 1997 Presidential election, despite an opposition boycott, Cavayé declared at the opening of a Parliamentary session on November 1, 1997, that MPs should “respect the institutions of the Republic” and “be worthy representatives” of the “sovereign people,” but opposition MPs ignored his warning and boycotted Biya’s swearing-in ceremony on November 3.

His stay as House Speaker hasn’t been smooth, that was why in 2008, one CPDM MP from the Far North, Hon Adama Modi, stormed the hemi-cycle and vehemently opposed the re-election of Hon. Cavaye by presenting his candidature for the post of Speaker. Although the MP was accused of violating party discipline, Hon. Adama Modi acted the scene again in 2009.

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