Pan-African Union for Social Democracy

Published 13th July, 2012

The Pan-African Union for Social Democracy or UPADS was founded in July 1991 by its leader Pascal Lissouba. The party is described as left of centre.

In the first multi-party elections of 1992 the party took the number one place with 39 of the 125 seats in the National Assembly. Its presidential candidate, Pascal Lissouba, went on to win the presidential election with 61.32% of the vote in the second round.

For the 2002 election the party had formed an alliance, the National Alliance for Democracy (AND) with the Congolese Party of Labour (PCT) and with their support went on to form a government. However the PCT soon fell out with the government and went into opposition. This led to the government losing a vote of confidence in October 1992 and Lissouba called fresh elections for 1993.

In the 1993 elections UPADS was again the dominant force, coming first with 47 of the 125 seats in the National Assembly. The result led to bloody confrontations and it was only after the Gabonese intervened that a ceasefire was agreed. UPADS formed a new coalition in 1995 but defections and a worsening security situation led once more to conflict. In 1997 a four month war saw the PCT and Denis Sassou Nguesso being supported by the Angolan government and President Pascal Lissouba was forced to flee the country.

Although UPADS contested the 2002 elections they managed to retain just four seats in the National Assembly and their presidential candidate, Joseph Kignoumbi Kia Mboungou, although coming second to Denis Sassou Nguesso managed to score just 2.76% of the vote.

In 2007 the party was one of the few to contest the election and after a series of appeals they won 11 seats in the 137 seat National Assembly. Former Prime Minister Ange Edouard Poungui was selected to stand as the presidential candidate for the party in the 2009 presidential election but was subsequently barred from standing because he had not had continuous residence in the country for the previous two years.

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