The French government has confirmed that French President Emmanuel Macron sent Paul Biya a congratulatory message, following claims in Cameroon that a letter posted on Biya’s social media accounts purported to be from Macron was fake.
President Biya posted a letter from the French president on his Facebook and Twitter accounts stating the French President had congratulated him for his victory. The gesture was part of Biya’s government efforts to boost the legitimacy of his October 7 elections, which the opposition claimed there were widespread fraud and other voter’s irregularities.
🇨🇲🇫🇷 A l'occasion de ma réélection, le Président Emmanuel Macron a le plaisir de m’adresser toutes ses félicitations. Il exprime sa volonté d'œuvrer au renforcement des relations anciennes de confiance et d'amitié entre le #Cameroun et la #France.#PaulBiya#237Vote pic.twitter.com/hUc6sgial6
— President Paul BIYA (@PR_Paul_BIYA) October 29, 2018
Cameroonians snapped on the post, arguing the letter from Macron was fraud. They said a copy of the letter could not be found on any official French official institution page, including the website of French President. Some argued that the signature was not the same signature Macron has used in documents on public display. They called on the government to retract the claim, arguing the claims were similar the Transparency International Saga.
On Tuesday 30 October, the French Presidency confirmed the authenticity of the letter to Checknews but added that the letter ‘was not intended to be made public, which explains why it does not find any trace elsewhere’. National Times could not independently verify the claims that the French government has confirmed the authenticity of the letter. But a source at the Presidency of Cameroon told us the letter is genuine.
It seems that Biya’s inner cycle maybe have broken the protocol in the zeal to legitimize the October 7 elections, at the time when domestic and international groups are rising against the 86 years old president.