Senator Marcel Niat Njifenji has been re-elected as the president of the Cameroon Upper House of Parliament (Senate). The elections took place yesterday March 14 2019 during a plenary session chaired by the eldest member of the Senate, Nfon Victor E. Mukete in the presence of the Minister Delegate at the Presidency in charge of relations with Parliament, Bolvine Wakata who was in attendance for the first time in that capacity after his appointment.
Senator Niat Njienfenji who was the lone candidate in the election won with 92 votes. There were 7 null votes and one senator was absent.
The Cameroon senate was put in place in 2013 after several years of delay and it presently serves as the Upper House of Parliament. It is made up of 100 senators consisting of 10 from each region, 7 elected and 3 appointed by the Head of State.
When the Senate came into existence, Marcel Niat Njifenji was among the 3 senators appointed from the West region. Shortly after that, the members of the Upper House had their first ever session and Niat Njifenji was elected as the First President of the body on the 12th of June 2013 with 86 votes in his favor as against 14 null votes.
Senator Marcel Niat Njifenji hails from Bangante in Nde division of the West region of Cameroon. He is presently 84 years old and is married to Marciel Tchapchet. They have 4 children together. Senator Niat Njifenji is also a member of the Cameroon’s ruling party, the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (CPDM).
At 84, Senator Niat Njifenji has been battling with health issues lately. During the October 7th Presidential election in 2018, Senator Niat Njifenji couldn’t vote at his hometown because he was hospitalized in France. In a video that emerged on that particular day, Senator Njifenji who could barely walk was seen being led to a polling station in Paris to cast his vote.
In January this year, he received new year wishes at his private residence; a ceremony which under normal circumstances should take place in an official building.
Senator Niat Njifenfi has also served in other public offices prior to his 2013 senatorial appointment. He was the Director General of the National Electricity Company, (SONEL) from 1974 to 1984. In 1984, there was an attempted coup d’état aimed at overthrowing the Head of state. The Coup failed and Niat Njifenji was arrested for allegedly taking part in the coup but later released and immediately restored in his formal post in 1989.
He was Minister of Planning and Territorial Administration from 1990 – 1991 while still serving as the DG of SONEL, Deputy Prime Minister for mines, water and energy from April 1992 – November 1992 and also Mayor of Bangante from 2002 to 2007. He was succeeded by Celestine Keutcha Courtes who is presently the Minister of housing and urban development.
According to the constitution of Cameroon, in the absence of the Head of State, Senator Niat Njifenji would become the acting president until a new election is held.
At the lower house of parliament, Hon. Cavaye Yeguie Djibril was also re-elected as Speaker of the National Assembly.
Hon. Cavaye is from the Mayo Sava constituency and has been the speaker of the National Assembly since 1992. He has won all previous elections, being lone candidate in virtually all the elections.