By the beginning of the 21st century multi-party parliamentary democracy was not well entrenched in sub-Saharan Africa. Even some presidents brought to office thanks to popular movements have tended to indulge in serious corruption, and to show reluctance to step down after their allotted span of office. Moreover. in many countries where the ‘third wave’ protests had not fully succeeded, long-term autocrats remained in control. Therefore there was a renewed wave of protest across much of Africa contesting rigged elections – including in Cameroon. Most of these popular protests did not succeed. Opposition parties were not always willing to unite against the incumbent, and ethnic divisions were sometimes exploited and could lead to serious violence (often promoted by members of the ruling party, but also sometimes encouraged by opposition politicians – both were true of the massacre in Kenya’s Rift Valley after the 2010 elections.)
Two victories for constitutional and electoral principles have, however, been achieved due at least in part to popular pressure.