Thus, unable to force the government’s hand on the issue of a national conference, the opposition’s hope was that the tripartite conference could be transformed into a conference whose decisions on the access of political parties to the official media, the electoral code and a revision of the constitution would be binding and have the force of law – far short of the NCOPA’s initial demands, but a “mini sovereign national conference” of sorts…
On October 11, 1991, President Biya announced during a nationwide address that multiparty legislative elections would take place on February 17, 1992.
United before the fall: Opposition leaders during a rally in Yaoundé in 1991.
He also announced that a tripartite meeting between the government, opposition parties and members of the civil society would take place in Yaounde, under the patronage of the Prime Minister, to discuss the draft electoral code and the draft decree on the access of political parties to the official media. He declared that the decisions of the meeting would be binding on all.
By the time President Biya addressed the nation, the Ghost town and civil disobedience campaign initiated by the National Coordination of Opposition Parties and Associations (NCOPA) had taken a heavy toll on the country’s economy with the state suffering a severe financial hemorrhage.