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Sawaba

The Union of Popular Forces for Democracy and Progress-Sawaba (, UDFP-Sawaba) is a political party in Niger, founded as the Nigerien Democratic Union (Union Démocratique Nigérienne, UDN) in 1954. The original party, founded by Nigerien Progressive Party (PPN) co-leader Djibo Bakary when he was expelled from the PPN. In the mid-1950s it created a broad coalition led by urban leftists but forged of conservative rural notables, especially from Hausa areas, which dominated the nascent Nigerien independence movement. In this period it was renamed Mouvement Socialiste Africain-Sawaba, and then simply Sawaba. In pushing for complete independence from France in a 1958 referendum, the party fractured. At independence in 1960 it found itself in opposition and outlawed by Niger's first president, Hamani Diori. From exile, the party attempted an abortive guerrilla campaign in the mid-1960s, and then largely disappeared. Its leadership returned to Niger following the 1974 military coup, but soon found themselves arrested, in exile, or marginalised. Following the return of democracy in 1991, the now elderly Bakary re-founded the party as UDFP-Sawaba. In the 1993 elections it took only a small numbers of votes. Within the year the party had split, with a new faction (UDFR-Sawaba) joining the government coalition. Despite Bakary's death in 1998 and their continued electoral underachievement, both parties holding the Sawaba name continue.