The government of Cameroon is considered a unitary republic, which means the central governmental body holds the majority of decision making powers and delegates responsibility as it chooses. Cameroon is lead by the President, who acts as both the Head of State and the Head of Government. Legislative actions are carried out by the bicameral Parliament, which consists of the National Assembly (180 seats) and the Senate (100 seats). The judicial branch works under the Ministry of Justice, which makes up part of the executive branch. The highest court reviews constitutionality at the request of the President.

The citizens of Cameroon participate in the election process across all levels of government. At a national level, the people here elect the President based on a majority vote. Prior to April of 2008, the presidency was limited to two 7-year terms, however, Parliament moved to eliminate that restriction. Despite the fact that this limit was previously in place, the current President has held office since November of 1982. The 180 members of the National Assembly are elected to serve a 5-year term and 70 of the 100 Senators are also elected by the citizens of Cameroon.

The principal parliament building of Cameroon is known as the Ngoa Ekelle Glass Palace and is located in Yaoundé. It is a long, concrete building with 7 stories. The back side of the parliament building holds the administrative offices, while the debate floor is located in the front. In 2017, this building was almost completely destroyed by a fire. Officials reported that 4 of the 7 floors were lost to the disaster.

Although the government of Cameroon is considered a multi-party system, most of the power is held by only one political party, the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement. Individuals belonging to any political party may run for presidential office. Politicians belonging to independent political parties, however, may not run for any parliamentary position nor for any municipal positions. Other large political parties include: Democratic Union of Cameroon, African People’s Union, Social Democratic Front, and Movement for the Defense of the Republic.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018

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