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Chad to hold referendum on a new constitution

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Chad to hold referendum on a new constitution

Chad constitution referendum

The Central African country of Chad will hold a referendum on a new constitution today.

Chad’s ruling military junta is seeking support for a new constitution to guide a long-planned but often delayed transition to civilian rule. Elections were originally slated for this year but were rescheduled amid ongoing political violence to next year.

The referendum is essentially a cover to extend the Itno dynasty’s over 30-year rule. Indeed, the current ‘transitional President’, General Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno is the son of the previous authoritarian President, who ruled Chad for 31 years until killed in action in 2021. However, Deby has French support for his fight against jihadists and has co-opted many armed groups and some opposition leaders like Suces Masra of Les Transformateurs. Regardless, the referendum is unlikely to attract broad support because many other opposition and armed groups are either boycotting the vote like Rassemblement National des Democrates Tchadiens and Bloc Federal or urging a ‘no’ vote such as GCAP and Platform Republicaine.

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The ‘yes’ vote is almost certain to win given the regime’s control of state resources to mobilize its supporters, as well as security forces intimidating opposition campaigners. This will also put Deby in poll position to win next year’s elections. However, political violence is also highly likely to continue in the near to medium term.

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