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Cameroon: The National Union Party for Democracy and Progress (UNDP) including its founding members, leadership since its foundation, agenda and treatment of its leaders by the current government

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 19 August 1999
Citation / Document Symbol CMR32958.E
Reference 7
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Cameroon: The National Union Party for Democracy and Progress (UNDP) including its founding members, leadership since its foundation, agenda and treatment of its leaders by the current government, 19 August 1999, CMR32958.E, available at: [accessed 29 August 2015]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

According to Radio Africa No 1, the chairman of the National Union for Development and Progress (UNDP), and also minister of state in charge of industrial and commercial development, is Bello Bouba Maigari (26 Jan. 1999). The deputy chairman of the UNDP National Central Committee is Celestin Bed-Zigui, who reportedly withdrew from the working group set up by the UNDP and the rulingparty, Cameroon People's Democratic Movement (CPDM), to "monitor the implementation of the government action platform agreement signed by the two political parties" (ibid.).

According to The Political Handbook of the World, the UNDP was founded in 1991 under the leadership of Samuel Eboua and was perceived as an agency for the supporters of the former President Ahidjo (1998, 149).Eboua was reportedly "squeezed" out by Bello Bouba Maigairi (ibid.), who was reportedly prime minister from 1982 to 1983 in the government of Paul Biya (RFI 22 Sept. 1997).

The UNDP won 68 seats in the March 1992 legislative election, mainly in the predominantly Muslim northern province (Political Handbook of the World 1998: 1998, 149). Apparently, Maigairi, who had finished third, joined the Social Democratic Front (SDF) leader, Fru Ndi in "petitioning the Constitutional Court to annul the controversial poll and on 8 November 1994, the UNDP announced a boycott of the National Assembly pending the release of 30 party activitists who had been arrested in July, but abandoned the walkout four weeks later (ibid.). In early 1993, two UNDP party members Hamodou Moustapha and Issa Tchiroma Bakary accepted cabinet ministries and were expelled from the party in late December 1994 (ibid.).

In May 1997 the UNDP "fared poorly at legislative balloting (ibid.) and Maigari called on the opposition to boycott the presidential elections arguing that "there is absolutely no political will on the part of the ruling party to move towards peaceful development … there is no universal suffrage in a country in which half of the voters are prevented from exercising their right to vote. Even worse, among those registered, a lot of  them have their votes" (RFI 18 Sept. 1997).

In October 1997 Maigarihelped to spearhead a boycott of the presidential election. However in December he accepted a cabinet post "asserting that Biya was seeking to incorporate opposition leaders in his government and admitting that his appointment was part of an apparent presidential effort to isolate Fru Ndi" (Political Handbook of the World 1998 1998, 150).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.

Africa No 1 Radio [Libreville in French]. 26 January 1999. "Cameroon: Political Dialogue Faces Problems, Party Official Quits Working." (BBC Summary 26 Jan. 1999/NEXIS)

The Political Handbook of the World 1998. 1998. Edited by Arthur S. Banks. Binghamton, NY. CSA Publications.

Radio France Internationale (RFI) [Paris]. 18 September 1997. "Opposition and Ruling Party Leaders Comment on elections, Boycott." (BBC Summary 22 Sept. 1997/NEXIS)

_____.  7 November 1996. "Opposition Leader Says He Will Take Part in Presidential Elections" (BBC Summary 9 Nov. 1996/NEXIS)


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