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The Allure Of Party Creation

Though the country already has over 250 registered parties, people still see the need to create more.

Multi-party politics was reintroduced in Cameroon in 1990 at a time only the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement, CPDM, was registered and recognised. It had earlier cha        nged name on March 25, 1985, from the defunct Cameroon National Union, CNU, which itself was first registered on September 1, 1966, as the Cameroon Union, CU. Ever since, the number of political parties has continued to increase. As at October 22, 2014, there were 297 legalised parties. It is however doubtful if all the 297 parties are still intact as some have since merged with others or simply ceased existing in terms of activities.

Early Charm Days

Of today’s 297 parties, almost half – 126 – were registered in the first five years of multiparty democracy between February 12, 1990 and March 6, 1996. Notable among the early comers were Démocratie Intégrale du Cameroun, DIC, of Essaka Annette, Union des Populations du Cameroun, UPC of late W. Ndeh Ntumazah, Social Democratic Front, SDF, of Ni John Fru Ndi, Parti Républicain du Peuple, PRPC, of Ateba Ngoa André, and the Union des Forces Démocratiques du Cameroun, UFDC, of Dr Hameni Mbieleu Victorin.

Dwindling Attraction

Unlike the first five years of democracy, only 46 parties were registered in the next five years from June 18, 1996 to August 24, 2001. They included Union des Populations Africaines, UPA, of Kamgang Hubert, La Nationale of the late Dr Abel Eyenga, Parti du Peuple Démocrate, PPD, of Soub Lazare, Action pour la Méritocratie et l’Egalité de Chances, AMEC, of Dr Tabi Owono Joachim, Dynamique pour la Renaissance Nationale (La Dynamique) of Dzongang Albert, and the Social Liberal Congress, SLC, of Dr Nyamndi George Dobgima.

Further Loss Of Appeal   

On the other hand, the five-year period from August 27, 2001 to May 22, 2007, saw only 41 parties legalised, thereby demonstrating a further loss of public interest in creating new ones. Among the lot were Alliance des Forces Progressistes, AFP, of Saidou Maidadi, Justice and Development Party, JDP, of Dr Forbin Boniface, and the Front pour le Salut Nationale du Cameroun, FSNC, of Issa Tchiroma Bakary.

Renewed Fascination

From January 3, 2008 until October 22, 2014, there was a renewed drive on the part of Cameroonian politicians to register more parties. A total of 84 were given official recognition, including the Parti Camerounais pour la Démocratie, PCD, of Benz Enow Bate, Mouvement pour la Renaissance du Cameroun, MRC, of Fogue Tedom Alain, Cameroon Party of Promise, CPP, of Chi Ngante Francis, Grand Cameroun, GC, of Atangana Nsoe Simon Pierre, Bilé Olivier Anicet’s Union pour la Fraternité et la Prosperité, UFP, Hopes Democratic Party, HDP, of Shifu Muhammadu Nfor, and Croire Au Cameroun CRAC, of Njonga Bernard.   

Party Registration By Region

Of the 297 officially-recognised parties now in the country, 151 have their registered headquarters in the Centre Region, followed by 79 in the Littoral, 23 in the West, 11 each in the North West and South West, six in the North, five each in Adamawa and East, and two each in the South and Far North Regions. 

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