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Chadian Supreme Court Upholds Results of Constitution Referendum

Chadian Supreme Court Upholds Results of Constitution Referendum

The Chadian Supreme Court has officially validated the results of the referendum for a new constitution organised by the military junta that has been in power for the past two and a half years.

The “yes” side secured 85.90% of the vote, while the “no” side received 14.10%, with a voter turnout of 62.8%. The validation is a crucial step intended to clear the way for elections in Chad at the end of 2024.

The opposition and civil society members have raised concerns, stating that the referendum’s outcome appears to be a plebiscite designed to facilitate the election of the transitional president, General Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno. The opposition, particularly the Bloc Fédéral coalition, had called for the annulment of the results, citing various irregularities in the voting process. However, the Supreme Court rejected the appeal.

The new constitution is reported to bear similarities to the existing one, granting significant power to the Head of State.

General Mahamat Déby, 37, assumed the role of transitional president in April 2021 following the death of his father, Idriss Déby Itno, who had ruled the country for over 30 years. The transition period was initially set at 18 months, with a commitment to hold elections. However, it was later extended by two years, allowing General Mahamat Déby to stand in the presidential elections scheduled for late 2024.

The opposition has criticised the referendum, viewing it as a move towards consolidating power by General Mahamat Déby. The Supreme Court’s validation of the results has intensified the political tensions in Chad.

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