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ASSESS THE IMPACT OF INTRA PARTY CONFLICT ON THE POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT OF CAMEROON

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ASSESS THE IMPACT OF INTRA PARTY CONFLICT ON THE POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT OF CAMEROON

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the study

Cameroon, a Central African nation, has faced a multifaceted political environment characterised by phases of peace and unrest since its independence from colonial authority in 1960. Political parties are essential in influencing the country's governing system, creating policies, and maintaining democratic procedures. Conflicts often occur inside political parties due to differences in ideas, leadership disputes, power dynamics, and socio-cultural divides (Akhaine, 2019). 

Representative democracies rely on the active functioning of political parties to function effectively. The articulation of public attitudes and interests may be assisted by parties, and although parties manage political leadership, they strengthen policy choices and equally provide coherent alternatives for the purpose of electioneering. In recent times, many political parties in Cameroon have struggled to implement an open system that enables party members to participate in decision-making and have limited opportunities to run for elections on the party's platform (Akinade, 2018). This socio-political limitation is dangerous and has caused bitterness and defection in several political parties in Nigeria. Intra-party democracy and unity are essential for maintaining a well-ordered society in any democratic system. According to Atelhe, Lawal & Terhile (2019), democracy requires robust and enduring political parties that can effectively represent people and provide policy options that showcase their capability to rule for the common welfare. The escalating confusion caused by ongoing disagreements within political parties, resulting in a disconnect between citizens and their elected leaders, along with the rise of undemocratic forces, poses challenges for political parties in selecting suitable candidates for political positions (Cohen, 2015). Intra-party conflict pertains to conflicts, disputes, and tensions that arise inside political parties. These disputes may arise at many levels, such as among party officials, factions within the party, or grassroots members. Political organisations always experience some amount of conflict, but severe internal strife may greatly impact a nation's political environment (Egobueze, 2021). It is crucial to comprehend the effects of internal party discord on Cameroon's political progress for several reasons. Cameroon's political system is characterised by a dominant-party structure, with the Cameroon People's Democratic Movement (CPDM) holding power since the early 1980s. Internal disagreements within the CPDM might impact the stability of the governing party, possibly resulting in changes in power dynamics and governance strategies (Egobueze, A. & Nweke, 2016). 

Furthermore, internal party disagreements may impede the development and execution of policies, since different groups within a party may have contradictory goals and plans. This may lead to congestion, inefficiency, and a lack of clear government, eventually hindering the country's socio-economic progress. 

Intra-party disagreements might worsen ethnic, regional, and socio-economic tensions in Cameroonian society. Political parties may represent different societal interests and internal disagreements within them can worsen existing divisions, resulting in polarisation and social turmoil (Freiherr von Nostitz, 2016). 

Furthermore, intra-party strife not only affects the governing party but also has repercussions for opposition parties. Internal conflicts among opposition parties may diminish their ability to serve as effective checks and balances on the administration, thus compromising the democratic process as a whole.  Although intra-party rivalry plays a crucial role in influencing Cameroon's political path, there is a lack of thorough study analysing its precise effects on political advancement. Current research often emphasises overarching topics such as political stability, democratisation, and governance, while neglecting the intricacies of intra-party interactions (Moliki, 2019). This research aims to analyse intra-party conflict within the Cameroonian setting systematically and explore its consequences for political growth. This study attempts to get a detailed knowledge of the nature, causes, and outcomes of intra-party conflict in Cameroon by using both qualitative and quantitative research techniques such as interviews, surveys, and content analysis of party documents and media reports. The project aims to enhance academic knowledge on political party dynamics, influence policies, and provide guidance to political actors and stakeholders in Cameroon to promote a stable and inclusive political climate.

1.2 Statement of the problem

Cameroon, known for its varied political terrain and complex history, is experiencing notable intra-party strife among its political organisations. Political parties are essential for democratic government, but internal conflicts, power struggles, and factionalism inside these parties have prompted worries about their overall influence on the country's political progress (Oden, 2018). 

The issue involves comprehending the many consequences of internal party strife on the overall political environment of Cameroon. The impact of internal disagreement among political parties on the country's political growth trajectory is not well studied despite its common occurrence. Hence, the study will assess the impact of intra party conflict on the political development of Cameroon.

1.3 Objective of the study

The broad objective is to assess the impact of intra party conflict on the political development of Cameroon. the specific objectives is as follows

To identify the factors contributing to intra-party conflict within Cameroonian political parties.

To assess the consequences of intra-party conflict on the stability of political institutions in Cameroon.

To explore the strategies employed by political actors to resolve intra-party conflicts in Cameroon.

To propose strategies  for mitigating intra-party conflict and fostering constructive political development in Cameroon.

1.4 Research Questions

The following questions have been prepared to guide the study

What are the factors contributing to intra-party conflict within Cameroonian political parties?

What are the consequences of intra-party conflict on the stability of political institutions in Cameroon?

What are the strategies employed by political actors to resolve intra-party conflicts in Cameroon?

What are the propose strategies  for mitigating intra-party conflict and fostering constructive political development in Cameroon?

1.5 Significance of the study

The findings of the study will be significant to the following

Political parties: Intra-party conflicts can destabilize political parties, leading to internal fragmentation, power struggles, and even party splits. By assessing the impact of such conflicts, policymakers and political analysts can gain insights into the factors contributing to political instability within Cameroon's political landscape. This understanding is essential for promoting and maintaining political stability, which is crucial for sustainable development and democratic governance.

The findings of the study will be beneficial to the academic community as it will contribute to the existing literature on the subject matter.

1.6 Scope of the study

The study focuses on assessing the impact of intra party conflict on the political development of Cameroon.  Empirically, the study will identify the factors contributing to intra-party conflict within Cameroonian political parties, assess the consequences of intra-party conflict on the stability of political institutions in Cameroon, explore the strategies employed by political actors to resolve intra-party conflicts in Cameroon and propose strategies  for mitigating intra-party conflict and fostering constructive political development in Cameroon.

1.7 Limitation 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

Conflict: a serious disagreement or argument, typically a protracted one.

Political development: the institutions, attitudes, and values that form the political power system of a society.


This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research



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