Junta to Remain After Chad Delays Election

Junta to Remain After Chad Delays Election (News Central TV)

Resolutions have been passed in Chad that delay democratic elections by two years and permit interim Junta Leader Mahamat Idriss Deby to continue in office and be eligible to run for president in the future elections.

Some opposition groups are appalled by the moves, which contravene repeated warnings from the African Union, the United States, and other international governments that the junta must not monopolise power by prolonging the transition or fielding presidential candidates.

When Deby seized office in April 2021 after his father, President Idriss Deby, was murdered on the battlefield after a struggle with militants, the military authorities had first planned an 18-month transition to elections.

Elections will take place around October 2024 under the new plan, which was accepted on Saturday. The transition that was supposed to complete this October has been extended by two years.

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Additionally, it permits Deby to hold onto power until the election even though his Transitional Military Council will dissolve and be replaced by a transitional administration that Deby would appoint.

Since 2020, coups have also occurred in Mali, Burkina Faso, and Guinea, increasing concerns that a region that has advanced toward democracy over the previous ten years may now revert to military dictatorship.

Chad is one of the poorest nations in the world and also has some of the worst rates of hunger. It is also riven by violence and drought. According to the World Food Programme, there are about two million individuals who are experiencing severe food shortages this year.

The resolutions, according to opposition leader Brice Mbaimong Guedmabaye, were pushed through amid continuing national discussions that the junta had promised would be an open forum to debate the road back to democracy.

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Brice Mbaimong Guedmabaye

“There are lobbies that are doing everything to keep the junta in power against the will of the people,” said Guedmabaye, who is president of the Movement of Chadian Patriots for the Republic party.

The Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT), the most potent rebel group, boycotted the national dialogue, which was promoted as a way for the government, the political opposition, representatives of civil society, and rebel groups to reach a political agreement. Last year, FACT threatened to march on the capital.

Some conference attendees are worried about the potential international response that might isolate Chad and impede its economic growth. According to the World Bank, nearly 42% of the country’s population lives below the poverty line.

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“We fear sanctions from the African Union and the international community, which will just worsen the suffering of the Chadian people,” said Daouda Elhadj, who is participating in the talks as head of a consumer protection organisation.

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