The ruling Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (CPDM) and opposition parties have been creating alliances especially towards presidential elections.
Cameroon’s political history since the reintroduction of multiparty politics in 1990 has witnessed a plethora of alliances between political parties, some that are sustainable and others that wither away once the elections are over.
The announcement by President Paul Biya during his New Year address to the nation on December 31, 2017 that 2018 will be an elections year in Cameroon has laid the base for the consolidation of existing alliances and the creation of others.
The ruling Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (CPDM) has gone into alliances some called the presidential majority, new presidential majority and government platforms with different political parties since the March 1992 legislative election. CPDM won only 88 seats at the National Assembly out of the 180 seats and had to create alliances with the Union des populations du Cameroun (UPC) that won 18 seats and the Movement for the Defense of the Republic (MDR) that 6 seats in order to have a majority in the House. Since 1992, the CPDM has always had allies during elections as a group of political parties not presented at the National Assembly called the New Presidential Majority has always voted for the CPDM’s candidate in presidential elections. Maigari Bello Bouba’s National Union for Democracy and Progress (NUDP) boycotted the 2007 presidential election but two months after signed a government action platform with the CPDM and also joined government. From that time the NUDP has always voted for the CPDM candidate in presidential elections. Other allies of the CPDM include the National Alliance for Democracy and Progress (NADP) and National Front for the Salvation of Cameroon (FNSC) that voted for President Paul Biya, the CPDM candidate in the 2011 presidential election against appointments in government.
Union For Change
The current leading opposition political party, the Social Democratic Front (SDF) of Ni John Fru Ndi boycotted the March 1992 legislative election. It however, went in for the October 11, 1992 presidential election with John Fru Ndi as its candidate. Considering the prominence of the SDF at the time, other political parties formed a coalition with it called the Union For Change and voted for John Fru Ndi. The Union for Change gradually died after the 1992 presidential election as some members of the opposition reportedly wanted their leaders to join President Biya’s government to share the spoils of office.
National Reconstruction Coalition
The Coalition for National Reconstruction and Reconciliation (CNRR) was formed towards the 2004 presidential election by a group of 10 opposition political parties with the aim to get a single opposition candidate to face that of the ruling CPDM. The parties finally designated Dr Adamou Ndam Njoya, the President of the Cameroon Democratic Union (CDU) as its candidate. However, John Fru Ndi, National Chairman of the Social Democratic Front who thought he was the main opposition leader quit the coalition and went in for the election as the SDF candidate.
G7 and Republican Pact
A group of seven opposition political parties that questioned the results of the October 2011 presidential election, some civil society organisations and free thinkers formed the Group of Seven (G7) intended to work out democratic ways of ousting the CPDM candidate President Paul Biya from power. The SDF National Chairman, John Fru Ndi was the leader of the G7. The other members included Alliance for Democracy and Development (ADD), Dynamique, People’s Action Party (PAP), Cameroon Democratic Union (CDU), Cameroon People’s Party (CPP) and Alliance of Progressive Forces (APF).
The G7 did not last for long as some members decided to break away to form the Republican Forces for Change in Cameroon code-named Republican Pact. Members of the Pact included the CDU, APF, Union for Fraternity and Prosperity (UFP) of Olivier Bilé and Democratic Party for the Development of Cameroon (PADDEC) of Jean De Dieu Momo. They sought to create a more binding group whose objective is to attain peaceful change of power in Cameroon through the ballot box.