What went wrong with: National Conferences Supervising Transitions to Multiparty Rule in Francophone Africa, since 1989 – A Re-visitation

International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) | Volume III, Issue II, February 2019 | ISSN 2454–6186

What went wrong with: National Conferences Supervising Transitions to Multiparty Rule in Francophone Africa, since 1989 – A Re-visitation

Prof. Simon Tata Ngenge

Vice Dean, Faculty of Law and Political Science, The University of Bamenda, Cameroon

Abstract: After the fall of communism in 1989, the winds of democracy swept from Eastern Europe to French-speaking Africa and provoked a popular need for multiparty politics. One-partyism had lost its importance. Advocates of change advocated the Sovereign National Conference as a means of transition from one-party to multi-party. It began in Benin and became very popular throughout sub-Saharan Francophone Africa. The dictators quickly realized that it was a way to take power away from them and they quickly took steps to end the transition. Their initiative nevertheless led to the introduction of multi-party politics but not to a genuine democratic culture, the people’s wish. Democracy has become a sham because it is not just about holding elections and legalizing hundreds of political parties. No one has ever sought to know who is organizing, sponsoring and proclaiming the election results, nor is it concerned about whether democratic values have actually transformed society, the ultimate goal of this system. As a result, because of the presidential majorities, people have returned to the dictatorial single party except for a few countries like Benin. In most countries, therefore, the presidential monarchy still prevails.

Key words:- Conference, sovereign, democracy, leaders, politics, masses

I. INTRODUCTION

The Sovereign National Conference (SNC) emerged on the political sense in Francophone Sub-Saharan Africa in 1989following the collapsed of communism and the democratic wind of change that wafted across Eastern Europe.Like an epidemic it cut the Francophone countries like the people of Eastern Europe who were living under dictatorial regimes. To ensure a smooth transition, the Sovereign National Conference model was adopted to draw up rules and regulations for a democratic culture. It was whole heartedly embraced in the sub-region because it was seen as the sole medium by which they could do away successfully with autocratic regimes.

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