Although the Union des Populations du Cameroun (UPC) enjoys tremendous popularity in the Littoral and West provinces, its main base of support comes from the Bassas of the Littoral province, where the party is still revered and associated with Um Nyobe's (a Bassa and one of the foremost nationalist leaders in Cameroon) heroic struggle against French imperialism.(12) Meanwhile, the Movement for Defense of the Republic (MDR), led by Dakole Daissala, a Kirdi from the Far North province is perceived as a party formed ostensibly as a counter-force against NUDP support, particularly among the Kirdi and other non-Foulbe population in the Far North, North and Adamawa provinces.
However, the first multiparty legislative elections since the creation of the CNU in 1966 were different from previous elections where all those elected to the National Assembly were from the same party (CNU or CPDM), and where the President and members of the legislature were often elected by more than 90 percent of the votes cast.(19) In the March 11, 1992 elections, for instance, the ruling CPDM party (which previously held all seats in the legislative assembly) won less than 50 percent (88 of the 180 seats) of the seats, while the newly-created NUDP, the UPC and the MDR won 68, 18 and 6 seats respectively.
An examination of the legislative election results (Table 1) shows that the NUDP won 32 of the 51 seats or 62.7 percent of all the seats in the Far North, North and Adamawa provinces, while the CPDM won 41 of the 50 seats or 82 percent of all the seats in the Center, South and East provinces.
In their message of support for Biya's candidacy in the presidential elections, the 25 chiefs noted that they had "come to appreciate and praise the immense efforts by the New Deal administration in placing the Cameroon citizens in the centre of all its development activities."(21) Ethnic loyalty to NUDP leadership may also account for the latter's victory in the largely Foulbe/Moslem North and Adamawa provinces, where NUDP candidates won all twenty-two seats.
The fact that Biya decided to form a parliamentary coalition with the MDR rather than either the NUDP or the UPC (which would have given his party a more solid majority in the legislature) may buttress charges in some domestic political circles that the CPDM was not only behind the formation of the MDR, but had bankrolled the party's campaign.
Similarly, Bello Bouba Maigari, the NUDP candidate won more than 64 percent or 369,776 of his 569,887 total votes from the three Northern provinces (the Far North, North and Adamawa provinces).(27)
That support may have been crucial in the 47.65 percent victory by President Biya in the Far North (Daissala's province of origin) compared to 42.88 percent for Bello Bouba Maigari, the NUDP candidate.
It was also reported that armed guards were used to prevent NUDP representatives from visiting polling stations to investigate allegations of election irregularities on election day.(28) Like his counterparts in the North-West province, one of the reasons why the Lamido of Rey Bouba and some of the rulers in the province supported Biya's candidacy was because of the support, financial and otherwise, that they continued to receive from the administration.(29)
Another compelling reason that might have contributed to the CPDM candidate's strong performance in two of the northern provinces was the fear by the non-Foulbe population that a victory by the Foulbe-led NUDP party (which many of them view as a successor to Ahidjo's CNU party) could again lead to their being dominated and undermined by the minority Foulbe-Moslem population in the region.