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ANALYSIS OF CAMEROON'S PARTY SYSTEM AND POLITICAL COALITIONS

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ANALYSIS OF CAMEROON'S PARTY SYSTEM AND POLITICAL COALITIONS

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the study

Cameroon, along with other African nations located south of the Sahara, has actively engaged in the democratisation movement that has unfolded since 1990. This pivotal phase in the existence of the state is characterised by significant transformations observable in the development and creation of mechanisms that animate the political landscape (Cantrell, 2016). Consequently, we have seen the emergence of several political groups alongside the CPDM, the ruling party, who are together referred to as the Cameroonian opposition. The subsequent lines delve into the analysis of a recently emerged political party within the landscape of opposition parties. This phenomenon necessitates a fresh debate to fully comprehend the political dynamics of the ongoing democratic process since 1990 (Bratton, 2019). This argument seems to be an enduring one, since democratisations have had diverse outcomes, as Gueye has observed in the context of Africa as a whole. Consequently, the political transformation in Cameroon since 1990 has established a political structure in which organised political groups, varying in their level of formal organisation, now function. This includes the specific party that we are currently discussing. An inquiry emerges about the means to comprehend the essence and fluctuations of the opposition, now engaged in the political arena via the MDR political party. The problems pertaining to the origin, rationale, and circumstances of political rivalry are key themes that have served as the foundation for our thought (Bryman, 2016). Overall, our thinking is primarily driven by the scientific imperative to comprehend and elucidate the rationale behind functionality. Additionally, we focus on assessing the overall managerial effectiveness of the Cameroonian opposition in its pursuit, execution, and regulation of political authority, as highlighted by Célestine Keutcha. This analysis is particularly relevant in the context of the new democratic era, characterised by a highly fragmented political landscape (Paul and Johannes, 2018).

Cameroon, a country located in Central Africa, is known for its cultural diversity and richness. Since achieving independence from colonial domination in 1960, Cameroon has seen a multifaceted political environment. Throughout the years, the party system and political alliances of this country have had significant influence on the formation of governance, policy-making, and social dynamics. Comprehending the socio-economic progress, stability, and problems of Cameroon requires a deep understanding of its complex political arena (Rakner, 2017).

The development of Cameroon's party system may be traced back to its first post-colonial era. Originally characterised by a single-party system led by the Cameroon National Union (CNU), the nation saw substantial changes when multi-party democracy was introduced in the early 1990s. This shift marked the beginning of a new period characterised by political pluralism, with several parties and coalitions competing for power and influence. Subsequently, Cameroon's political party system has transformed into a varied and extensive terrain, marked by a multitude of political parties that include a wide range of ideas, interests, and ethnic associations. Nevertheless, the political landscape continues to be significantly shaped by historical legacies, geographical differences, and the prevailing power of certain parties or individuals (Ringen, 2016). Political coalitions have become prominent elements in this system, often acting as tactical partnerships established to consolidate authority, gain electoral backing, or promote certain objectives. The coalitions in Cameroon, which vary from comprehensive alliances to more specific affiliations, demonstrate the complex network of alliances, rivalries, and negotiations that exist within the country's political environment.

The party system and political alliances in Cameroon are shaped by a range of issues, such as the historical remnants of colonialism, ethnic heterogeneity, socio-economic inequalities, and regional dynamics. Gaining insight into the interaction of these components is essential for comprehending the underlying reasons for party politics, the establishment of coalitions, and the results of elections.

Moreover, analysing Cameroon's party system and political alliances provides useful insights into wider topics of democratisation, governance, and political stability in Africa. Researchers may enhance academic discourse on comparative politics, democratisation processes, and governance in varied socio-political situations by examining the methods, problems, and results of political actors in this context (Van Gyampo, 2016). This research aims to explore the complexity of Cameroon's party system and political alliances, with the goal of understanding its political dynamics and their impact on governance, democracy, and socio-economic growth. By conducting thorough analysis and empirical research, this study aims to provide new insights and enhance our comprehension of political processes in Cameroon and other regions. Therefore, the researcher sought to analyze Cameroon's party system and political coalitions. 

1.2 Statement of the problem

Cameroon, being a country with a diversified sociopolitical environment, has a complicated party system that consists of various parties and several levels of political coalition formations (Bryman, 2016). Nevertheless, there is still a lack of comprehensive understanding about the dynamics of these interactions inside the party system, as well as the elements that influence the creation, dissolution, and maintenance of political coalitions. Therefore, it is crucial to thoroughly examine the complexities of Cameroon's party system and political alliances in order to get a better understanding of how its democracy operates and to identify ways to improve political stability and representation.. Hence, the need to analyze Cameroon's party system and political coalitions. 

1.3 Objective of the study

The broad objective of the study is to analyze Cameroon's party system and political coalitions. The specific objectives is as follows

To examine the factors influencing the formation of political coalitions within Cameroon's party system.

To assess the dynamics of political coalitions within Cameroon's party system.

To assess the impact of Cameroon's party system on socio-political stability in the country.

1.4 Research questions

The following questions have been prepared for the study

To examine the factors influencing the formation of political coalitions within Cameroon's party system.

To assess the dynamics of political coalitions within Cameroon's party system.

To assess the impact of Cameroon's party system on socio-political stability in the country.

1.5 Significance of the study

The findings of the study will be significant to the government as understanding Cameroon's party system and political coalition dynamics is crucial for policymakers, political analysts, and stakeholders aiming to promote democracy, stability, and effective governance in the country. By shedding light on the underlying factors influencing party politics and coalition formations, this research aims to contribute to informed decision-making processes and the development of strategies to address political challenges and foster inclusive political participation in Cameroon.

1.6 Scope of the study

The study focuses on analyze Cameroon's party system and political coalitions. Empirically, the study will analyze the evolution of Cameroon's party system, examine the factors influencing the formation of political coalitions within Cameroon's party system, assess the dynamics of political coalitions within Cameroon's party system and assess the impact of Cameroon's party system on socio-political stability in the country.

1.7 Limitations of the study

Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire, and interview), which is why the researcher resorted to a moderate choice of sample size. More so, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.

1.8 Definition of terms

Party system: A party system is a concept in comparative political science concerning the system of government by political parties in a democratic country.

Political coalition: A coalition government is a government where political parties enter a power-sharing arrangement of the executive.


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