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Politics and Constitution-Making in Francophone Cameroon, 1959-1960

Nicodemus Fru Awasom
Africa Today
Vol. 49, No. 4 (Winter, 2002), pp. 3-30
Published by: Indiana University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4187529
Page Count: 28
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Politics and Constitution-Making in Francophone Cameroon, 1959-1960
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Abstract

This essay examines politics in Francophone Cameroon and its impact on the making of the Cameroonian constitution of 1960. Politics in Francophone Cameroon was characterized by violence, bloodshed, and the suppression of civil liberties. This political turmoil was the handiwork of French administrators, who indulged themselves in the uphill task of exterminating anti-French Cameroonians. Prime Minister Ahidjo used the turmoil as a pretext to obtain emergency powers from parliament to design Cameroon's constitution. The constitution was adopted in a referendum while a state of emergency was in force, the French army was protecting the Ahidjo government against its citizens, and French administrators were present to rig the vote.

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