Cameroon has created 11 new political parties, bringing the total number of legalised political parties in the Central African country to 330.
Paul Atanga Nji, Cameroon minister for Territorial Administration, announced Wednesday that he has legalised the new political parties “which will enrich political debate and encourage freedom of expression” four years to major elections in the Central African country.
He said the new political parties will “henceforth contribute to the facilitation of a contradictory but constructive political debate” in the country of 26 million people.
One of the newly legalised political parties is the Patriotic and Republican Alliance (APAR) of Celestin Djamen—a former member of the opposition Social Democratic Front (SDF) of Ni John Fru Ndi—and the Cameroon Renaissance Movement (MRC) of Prof Maurice Kamto.
Speaking at a press conference in Douala last month, Mr Djamen said he created the party to fill in a vacuum left by current opposition parties in the country. He said APAR “will be very active in the field.”
He said the political party will never boycott any election in the country, adding that it has great plans for 2025.
President Paul Biya’s current mandate will end in 2025 when the veteran leader will be 92. The mandate of current members of the National Assembly as well as local municipal authorities will also come to an end in the same year.
Mr Djamen, however, did not elaborate on the party’s plan.
But he added that APAR will have a secretariat in charge of cooperation with other political parties with whom they will discuss issues relating to the reform of the electoral law of the country.
President Biya accepted the reintroduction of multiparty politics in the country in the 90’s and in 1992 the country organised its first multi-candidate presidential election which he won and has since remained a serial election winner albeit reports of massive rigging.