Cameroon People's Democratic Movement

The Cameroon People's Democratic Movement (CPDM, French: Rassemblement démocratique du Peuple Camerounais, RDPC) is the ruling political party in Cameroon. Previously known as the Cameroonian National Union, which had dominated Cameroon politics since independence in 1960, it was renamed in 1985. The National President of the CPDM is Paul Biya, the President of Cameroon,[1] while the Secretary-General of the RDPC's Central Committee is Jean Nkuete.

Cameroon People's Democratic Movement

Rassemblement démocratique du Peuple Camerounais
PresidentPaul Biya
HeadquartersYaoundé, Cameroon
IdeologyBig tent
Seats in the National Assembly
148 / 180


Cameroonian National UnionEdit

Cameroonian National Union

Union nationale camérounaise
FounderAhmadou Ahidjo
Founded1 September 1966
HeadquartersYaoundé, Cameroon
IdeologyAfrican nationalism

The Cameroonian National Union (CNU) (French Union nationale camérounaise [UNC]) was formed in 1966 through a merger of the Cameroon Union (Union Camerounaise) and the Kamerun National Democratic Party, the major political organizations, respectively, of the eastern and western regions, and four smaller parties. The UNC sponsored labor, youth, and women's organizations and provided the only list of candidates for the 1973, 1978, and 1983 legislative elections.

Ahmadou Ahidjo became the first head of the UNC in 1966 and continued in that capacity after his resignation as the nation's president in 1982. Following President Paul Biya's assumption of emergency powers in August 1983, Ahidjo, then in France, resigned as party leader. Biya was subsequently elected party chief at a special party congress in September.


In 1985, the UNC was renamed the Cameroon People's Democratic Movement (CPDM or Rassemblement Démocratique du Peuple Camerounaise—RDPC). Opposition parties were legalized in 1990.

The CPDM won 88 out of 180 seats in the National Assembly of Cameroon in the March 1992 parliamentary election, and through an alliance with the Movement for the Defense of the Republic (MDR), which won six seats, it obtained a parliamentary majority.[2][3] Biya subsequently won the October 1992 presidential election with about 40% of the vote, ahead of John Fru Ndi of the Social Democratic Front (SDF), who won about 36%.[2] The CPDM gained 116 of the 180 seats in the May 1997 parliamentary election[4] (it initially won 109 seats,[5] but it subsequently won in the three constituencies where the election was held over again in August, gaining seven more seats[4]) and in the October 1997 presidential election, Biya received 92.6% of the vote amidst an opposition boycott.[3]

Political Opposition and Alliances in 2000Edit

The SDF and its allies in the Union for Change remain critical of Biya but are also critical of France, which they call an "accomplice of those in power." However, in 2000 the alliance reportedly was falling apart as the SDF sought to distance itself from the Southern Cameroon National Council (SCNC). The SCNC apparently was accusing the SDF of delaying independence for the northwest and southwest English-speaking provinces by refusing to force its English-speaking members of parliament to resign from the Francophone-dominated National Assembly. Moreover, some members of the opposition wanted their party leaders to join Biya's coalition government so they could share the spoils of office.

By 2000, Biya had shored up his government by forming a coalition with the northern-based UNDP, which had 13 Assembly seats, and with the UPC, which had one seat. Together, the ruling coalition gave Biya a four-fifth's majority in the Assembly. The coalition government enjoyed support from seven of Cameroon's 10 provinces, and thus secured former President Ahidjo's north-south alliance, which he had created in 1958.

From 2002Edit

In the parliamentary election held on 30 June 2002, the party won 149 out of 180 seats, including 16 seats won in a revote on 15 September for constituencies where the election had been invalidated.[6] In the presidential election held on 11 October 2004, Biya won 70.9% of the vote.

The CPDM won 140 out of the 163 initially declared seats in the July 2007 parliamentary election,[7][8] and it won another 13 seats (out of 17 at stake) in constituencies where the vote was held over again in September, thus winning a total of 153 seats.[9]


The party held its first ordinary congress, at which Biya told the party to prepare for competition as the move toward multiparty democracy was beginning, on June 28, 1990 in Yaoundé. The CPDM's first extraordinary congress was held in Yaoundé on October 7, 1995, and its second ordinary congress was held on December 17–19, 1996.[10] The party held its second extraordinary congress on July 7, 2001[10][11] and its third extraordinary congress on July 21, 2006 in Yaoundé.[10][12] Biya has been consistently re-elected as the CPDM's National President.[10]

Electoral historyEdit

Presidential ElectionsEdit

Election Party candidate Votes % Result
1970 Ahmadou Ahidjo 3,478,942 100% Elected  Y
1975 3,483,165 100% Elected  Y
1980 3,329,145 100% Elected  Y
1984 Paul Biya 3,878,138 100% Elected  Y
1988 3,321,872 100% Elected  Y
1992 1,185,466 40.0% Elected  Y
1997 3,167,820 92.57% Elected  Y
2004 2,665,359 70.92% Elected  Y
2011 3,772,527 77.99% Elected  Y
2018 2,521,934 71.28% Elected  Y

National Assembly electionsEdit

Election Party leader Votes % Seats +/– Position
1970 Ahmadou Ahidjo 2,926,224 100%
50 / 50
  50   1st
1973 3,293,428 100%
120 / 120
  70   1st
1978 3,614,768 100%
120 / 120
1983 Paul Biya 3,628,469 100%
120 / 120
1988 3,179,898 100%
180 / 180
  70   1st
1992 989,044 45.5%
88 / 180
  92   1st
1997 1,399,751 48.0%
109 / 180
  21   1st
149 / 180
  40   1st
153 / 180
  4   1st
148 / 180
  5   1st
139 / 180
  9   1st

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Les membres du bureau politique" Archived 2007-06-30 at the Wayback Machine, RDPC website (in French).
  2. ^ a b John Mukum Mbaku, "Decolonization, Reunification and Federation in Cameroon", in The Leadership Challenge in Africa: Cameroon Under Paul Biya, pages 33–34.
  3. ^ a b "UK Home Office Immigration and Nationality Directorate Country Assessment - Cameroon",
  4. ^ a b Victor Julius Ngoh, "Biya and the Transition to Democracy", The Leadership Challenge in Africa: Cameroon Under Paul Biya, page 444.
  5. ^ "Cameroon: Opposition arrests reported after announcement of election results", Radio France Internationale (, June 8, 1997.
  6. ^ "Législatives partielles: le parti au pouvoir remporte 16 des 17 sièges" Archived 2012-07-21 at, AFP (, September 27, 2002 (in French).
  7. ^ "Les résultats des législatives du 22 juillet 2007 proclamés.", Cameroonian government website (in French).
  8. ^ "Cameroun: l'écrasante victoire du parti de Biya aux législatives confirmée", AFP (, August 10, 2007 (in French).
  9. ^ "Les résulats des législatives partielles proclamés par la Cour suprême", Xinhua (, October 15, 2007 (in French).
  10. ^ a b c d "21 ANS DE TÂTONNEMENT",, July 21, 2007 (in French).
  11. ^ "Notre revue de presse de la semaine du 9 au 15 juillet 2001",, July 16, 2001 (in French).
  12. ^ "Paul Biya réélu sans surprise à la tête du RDPC",, July 22, 2006 (in French).


  • DeLancey, Mark W.; DeLancey, Mark D. (2000). Historical Dictionary of the Republic of Cameroon (3rd ed.). Lanham, Maryland: The Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0-8108-3775-1.
  • "Cameroon - Political parties". The Encyclopedia of Nations. Advameg, Inc. 2011. Retrieved 6 December 2011.

External linksEdit