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AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE PRESIDENTIAL POWER DYNAMICS AND SUCCESSION PLANNING IN CAMEROON

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AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE PRESIDENTIAL POWER DYNAMICS AND SUCCESSION PLANNING IN CAMEROON

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the study

Cameroon, located in Central Africa, has an intricate political structure centred on a presidential style of government. Cameroon has seen substantial political changes, such as transformations in leadership and power dynamics, since becoming independent from France and the United Kingdom in the 1960s. Comprehending the complexities of presidential authority and succession planning in Cameroon is essential for understanding the country's political stability, governance systems, and future outlook (Akpan & Ukpai, 2017). Cameroon's political history is characterised by a sequence of changes and obstacles. Cameroon established a presidential form of government after achieving independence in 1960 and 1961, giving the president significant executive responsibilities. The nation has seen a few prominent political leaders dominate and influence the power structure among the governing class throughout the years (Cherono, Towett & Njeje, 2016). The president's centralised authority has been a key characteristic of Cameroon's political environment. The president has substantial power over the executive branch, legislature, and judiciary, impacting decision-making and policy execution. Comprehending the exercise, consolidation, and occasional challenges to presidential authority is crucial for understanding the operation of Cameroon's political system. Succession planning in Cameroon has garnered attention due to President Paul Biya's extended tenure from 1982. Being one of Africa's most enduring presidents, the issue of succession and power transfer has grown more relevant (Emerole, 2015). The absence of clear and established succession processes raises worries about political stability, governance continuity, and the possibility of power conflicts within the ruling class. There is a lack of thorough academic study on the role of presidential power dynamics and succession planning in defining Cameroon's political environment. A comprehensive study is required to investigate the interaction of power dynamics, institutional structures, and succession processes in the context of presidential authority and leadership changes, as highlighted by Fatunmbi (2017). This paper seeks to address the current deficiency in the literature by conducting a thorough examination of presidential power dynamics and succession planning in Cameroon. This research aims to clarify how power is exercised and passed down within the Cameroonian political elite by using a multidisciplinary method including political science, history, and governance studies. The study aims to provide insights into the consequences of these processes for governance, democracy, and political stability in Cameroon (Nkam, Sena & Ndamsa, 2017). Comprehending the complexities of presidential power dynamics and succession planning is crucial for understanding the larger political environment of Cameroon. Exploring this study subject may provide researchers and policymakers with useful insights into how Cameroon's political system operates, help identify obstacles and possibilities for improvement, and support the progress of democratic governance and stability in the nation.

Statement of the problem

Understanding presidential power dynamics and succession planning is essential for grasping Cameroon's political scene. Cameroon's purportedly democratic system has seen extended presidential terms with centralised power, leading to concerns about the openness and impartiality of succession procedures (Ofobruku & Nwakoby, 2015). Cameroon's political system, despite constitutional provisions for democracy, is marked by centralised authority, restricted political diversity, and a lack of clear succession processes. The issue stems from the centralization of authority in the president, raising worries about accountability, openness, and inclusion in decision-making processes (Ogbechie, R.,& Anetor, 2015). Additionally, the lack of well-defined succession planning methods creates doubts about political stability and the smooth transition of power in the future. This study intends to examine the lack of transparency in presidential power transfers and succession planning in Cameroon, and how it affects governance, stability, and democratic progress. 

1.3 Objective of the study

The broad objective of the study is to investigate into the presidential power dynamics and succession planning in Cameroon. The specific objectives is as follows

To assess the existing succession planning mechanisms within Cameroon's political structure.

To analyze the effectiveness of succession planning mechanisms in ensuring smooth transitions of power.

To examine the role of constitutional provisions in shaping presidential succession processes in Cameroon.

To identify challenges  for improvement in the current system of presidential power dynamics and succession planning in Cameroon.

1.4 Research Questions

The following questions have been prepared to guide the study

What are the existing succession planning mechanisms within Cameroon's political structure?

What is  the effectiveness of succession planning mechanisms in ensuring smooth transitions of power?

What is the role of constitutional provisions in shaping presidential succession processes in Cameroon?

What are the challenges  for improvement in the current system of presidential power dynamics and succession planning in Cameroon?

1.5 Significance of the study

The study is significant to the following

Government: Understanding the intricacies of presidential power dynamics and succession planning in Cameroon is crucial for promoting democratic governance, political stability, and socio-economic development. This research seeks to contribute to academic scholarship, inform policymaking processes, and foster dialogue among stakeholders to address the challenges and opportunities associated with presidential transitions in Cameroon.

Academia: the findings of the study will be of benefit to the academic community as it will contribute to the existing literature.

1.6 Scope of the study

The study focuses on investigating the presidential power dynamics and succession planning in Cameroon.  Empirically, the study will assess the existing succession planning mechanisms within Cameroon's political structure, analyze the effectiveness of succession planning mechanisms in ensuring smooth transitions of power, examine the role of constitutional provisions in shaping presidential succession processes in Cameroon and identify challenges  for improvement in the current system of presidential power dynamics and succession planning in Cameroon.

1.7 Research Methodology

Research methodology deals with the different ways or methods the researcher applied in order to carry out the research as well as the instrument used for gathering the data. There are several research methodologies appropriate for answering the research questions. The type of research methodology used in this research to gather data and relevant information is the historical research and the study will adopt descriptive method of data collection. This will involve the collection of materials from secondary sources, such as books, journal articles, magazines, internet sources, international and national conference proceedings, published and unpublished articles.

1.8 Limitation of the study

Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire, and interview), which is why the researcher resorted to a moderate choice of sample size. More so, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.

1.8 Definition of terms

Power dynamics: the inherent structures and influences of power that exist between individuals and groups within a given context.

succession planning: the process of identifying the critical positions within your organization and developing action plans for individuals to assume those positions.


This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research



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