Cameroon: UPC - Division Persists Prior to Congress

The eighth ordinary congress slated for the Yaounde Conference Centre on September 11-13, 2021 is organised by the Secretary General, Dr Baleguel Nkot.

Members and supporters of the Union des population du Cameroun (UPC) will meet in the Yaounde Conference Centre from September 11-13, 2021 within the framework of the party's eighth ordinary congress convened by the Secretary General, Dr Baleguel Nkot.

The major stake of the reunion is finding a common ground to the different internal squabbles rocking the party considering that its history since the reintroduction of multiparty politics is characterised by factions. In recent times, the party has witnessed several embarrassments as a result of these disagreements. For example, the party could not participate in the February 9, 2020 legislative and municipal elections in many constituencies, as the two factions of the party presented a list each in the same constituency, leading to its rejection by Elections Cameroon. The same scenario repeated itself during the December 6, 2020 regional elections. As a consequence of these squabbles, the party could not come up with a unique list, leading to their no representation at the National Assembly.

The congress which begins tomorrow is seemingly not to bring meaningful resolution to the factions that have bedevilled the UPC. It was endorsed by the extraordinary session of the Steering Committee of UPC that took place in Edea on September 4, 2021 convened and presided at by the UPC President Habiba Issa. During the Edea meeting, different Regional Sections of the UPC were invited to mobilise their delegates for the congress while strictly respecting the quotas. Members of the Steering Committee recommended the spirit of consensus, unity and assembly of all UPC factions in order to ensure the success of the congress.

However, this weekend's congress convened by Baleguel Nkot's faction of the UPC comes within the context of persistent divergence and if care is not taken it will further deepen the already wide cracks in the party. This is because Hon. Robert Bapooh Lipot, another faction leading holds that the congress could only take place after the consensual reorganisation and harmonisation of the basic organs of the party. According to him, this has not been done and it cannot therefore be a unitary congress that will resolve the differences in the UPC.

On the eve of the announced congress, political pundits and keen observers are looking forward to it with much reservation as to its positive impact in the future of the party. Analysists such as Jocelyn Olomo Manga, Doctor in political history examines stakes and context of the congress and projects into the future.

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