In almost 40 years of presidency, Paul Biya has had five presidents, including Jacques Chirac, 86, who died on Thursday morning. Between 1995 and 2007, in 12 years of relationship, Paul Biya and Jacques Chirac blew hot and cold. Le Journal le Jour comes back to the highlights of this collaboration.
In the presidential election of 1995, the French right presents two candidates: Jacques Chirac and Edouard Balladur.Paul Biya would then have taken up the cause for the second, and financed his campaign, as is customary in Françafrique. Once elected, Chirac, known for the tenacity of his resentful side, would have had a hard tooth against his Cameroon counterpart. Hence very cold reports at the beginning of his term. Some people now see the end of the reign of Biya, with the alternation in France. This especially since we are in the last straight for the presidential election of October 1997. To fix the situation, Paul Biya is close to Omar Bongo, who has the very sensitive ear of Chirac, and especially of Alain Juppé who is then the beloved Prime Minister of the French president.Things will not be long in coming to terms.
Once the storm of the “first days” passed, Chirac “the African” will start to appreciate Paul Biya, which intrigues him all the more. In 1999, what is presented by the power of Yaounde as a “victory over the bad languages”, with a visit to Cameroon in July President Chirac. This one, supposed to illustrate “the excellent quality of the friendship and the relations between the two Nations” will be interrupted the 19th by the death of Hassan II of Morocco. Chirac will promise to come and finish it. Promise held when on the sidelines of the summit “Africa-France” -new designation- held in Yaounde in January 2001, he took the opportunity to make an official visit, with a trip to the city of Garoua, where he had not had been able to visit two years earlier. Jacques Chirac, who is of the same generation as Paul Biya, because born in 1932, will then maintain good relations with his Cameroon counterpart, whose personality complexity he will never be able to grasp until his departure from the Elysée Palace. in 2007.