Marcel Niat Njifenji
|Marcel Niat Njifenji|
|President of the Senate of Cameroon|
June 12, 2013
October 26, 1934 |
Bangangté, Nde, Cameroon
Marcel Niat Njifenji (born 26 October 1934) is a Cameroonian politician who has been President of the Senate of Cameroon since 2013. A member of the ruling Cameroon People's Democratic Movement (RDPC), he previously served for years as Director-General of the National Electricity Company, and he was also a minister in the government during the early 1990s.
Life and career
Born in 1934 at Bangangté, located in Cameroon's West Region, Niat Njifenji worked as an engineer of roads and bridges. He was Director-General of the National Electricity Company (Société nationale d'Electricité, SONEL), the state-owned electricity company, from 1974 to 1984. When rebellious soldiers attempted to overthrow President Paul Biya in an April 1984 coup attempt, Niat Njifenji was immediately arrested and jailed. Although it was considered doubtful that he had anything to do with the coup attempt, he was reportedly abused during his imprisonment and attempted suicide. He was released from prison in 1989 and promptly restored to his post at SONEL in September 1989.
Niat Njifenji also served in the government as Minister of Planning and Territorial Administration from 7 September 1990 to 26 April 1991, while remaining Director-General of SONEL. Subsequently he was Deputy Prime Minister for Mines, Water, and Energy from 9 April 1992 to 27 November 1992. He was elected to the National Assembly in the 1992 parliamentary election, but he did not serve his term and remained in his post as Director-General of SONEL throughout the 1990s. Eventually the company was privatized, and Niat Njifenji was replaced by an AES Sirocco executive in July 2001. In 2002, Niat Njifenji was elected as Mayor of Bangangté; he served as Mayor until September 2007, when he was succeeded by Célestine Keutcha Courtes.
President of the Senate
In 2013, after years of delay, the Senate was established to serve as the upper house of Cameroon's Parliament; previously only the National Assembly existed. President Biya appointed Niat Njifenji to the Senate in May 2013. He was one of 30 senators to receive their seats by presidential appointment; the other 70 senators were indirectly elected. Biya appointed three senators for each region, and Niat Njifenji was one of the three to come from West Region.
Niat Njifenji was elected as President of the Senate on 12 June 2013. In the 100-member body, there were 86 votes in favor of Niat Njifenji; no senators voted against him, although 14 senators cast spoilt votes. As President of the Senate, Niat Njifenji would, according to the constitution, succeed President Biya if the latter were to die in office; he would lead the country until a new presidential election could be held, and he would not be permitted to stand as a candidate in that election.
- Armand Essogo, "Marcel Niat Njifenji, Un homme d’expérience à la tête du Sénat", Cameroon Tribune, 13 June 2013 (French).
- Armelle Nya, "Cameroun : Marcel Niat Njifenji élu président du Sénat", Jeune Afrique, 13 June 2013 (French).
- Country Report: Cameroon, CAR, Chad (1989), The Economist Intelligence Unit, page 11.
- Country Report: Cameroon, CAR, Chad (1992), The Economist Intelligence Unit, page 15.
- "Marcel Niat Njifenji", Africa Energy Intelligence, number 304, Africa Intelligence, 22 August 2001.
- "Le premier président du Sénat camerounais est Marcel Niat Njifenji", Agence Ecofin, 13 June 2013 (French).
- Alfred Mvogo, "Cameroun: Célestine Keutcha Courtes, nouveau maire de Bangangté", Cameroon Tribune, 21 September 2007 (French).
- Daniel Kameni, "Cameroun: La liste des 100 sénateurs", Mutations, 10 May 2013 (French).
- "Cameroun: Marcel Niat Njifenji élu président du Sénat", RFI, 13 June 2013 (French).
- "Cameroun : Marcel Niat Njifenji élu Président du Sénat", Xinhua, 13 June 2013 (French).