Chad. After many delays, the regime in February conducted the country’s first parliamentary elections in eight years. Since President Idriss Déby 2010 improved relations with Sudan, where Chadian rebel camps were previously allowed, the security situation was calmer. Before the election, the opposition accused the state election commission’s chief of cheating with candidate lists and demanded his resignation. The regime surprisingly agreed to it. But in the election, President Déby’s party of the Patriotic Rescue Movement (MPS) prevailed, according to official results. The MPS received 110 of Parliament’s 188 seats, and a further 21 seats went to parties allied with Déby. According to Countryaah official site, most successful in the opposition was the National Union for Development and Renewal, which took 11 seats. Visit ABBREVIATIONFINDER for the acronym of TCD that stands for the country of Chad.
The leading opposition parties accused Déby’s party of rigging the election. Some results were also declared invalid after the Constitutional Court found irregularities. But the opposition did not hear of its demands for reform of the electoral system ahead of the next presidential election. Among other things, the requirement for reprinting of voting cards was rejected after finding old voting cards for sale on the market in the capital N’Djamena.
Three of the most important opposition leaders, Ngarlejy Yorongar, Saleh Kebzabo and Wadal Kamougue, therefore boycotted the presidential election in April, and Déby had only two counter-candidates and these came from small parties. According to the Election Commission, Déby won with 89% of the vote, a result that was questioned by the opposition and election observers. Later, the Constitutional Court ruled that Déby won by 83.6%. The turnout was 55.6%.
After more than 20 years in power, Déby had thus been re-elected for a fourth term. He himself emphasized that the country’s oil income gave the people new schools, hospitals and roads, and in addition, the civil disputes had diminished. But despite oil revenues, Chadian society had remained one of the poorest in Africa. During an international campaign to vaccinate children in the poorest countries, it was found that Chad was the country with the highest proportion of unvaccinated children, 77%.
Many Chadians who applied to North Africa as guest workers tried to escape the uprising there at the beginning of the year, mainly from Libya, where the opposition accused black Africans of being mercenaries in al-Khadaffi’s service. About 40,000 Chadians fled south from the civil war in Libya in very difficult desert conditions. The guest workers’ flight meant major deterioration for families in Chad who lived on home money.
In July, Senegal announced that it would extradite former Chadian President Hissène Habré to Chad, where he is accused of the death and torture of tens of thousands of opponents during his time in power. However, Senegal later amended the decision to extradite Habré since the UN Human Rights Commissioner expressed concern that Habré would be tortured in Chad.
Defense and security
The army in Chad is a relevant player and deeply involved in the struggle for political power. It has proved to be a valuable tool for governments from independence to today, both for controlling inter-ethnic tensions in the most turbulent regions, and for defending government strongholds in the capital. From its ranks, several leaders and militants of the main rebel groups have also emerged who over the years have challenged the executives who settled in N’Djamena.
In recent years, Chad has made significant investments in armaments: the peak was reached in 2009 with an incidence of military spending equal to 10.5% of GDP. However, in the following two years, the budget was reduced.
Chad is France’s main military partner in crisis management in Mali and the Central African Republic; N’Djamena is home to one of the main Paris bases in the region.
The growing political and military role of Chad in sub-Saharan Africa
The Malian crisis of 2012-13 and the coup in the Central African Republic of March 2013 opened a phase of profound instability throughout Sahelian Africa. In an attempt to stabilize the region, the Déby government intervened decisively thus assuming a leading strategic position in the area. The African conflicts, the political isolation of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, the tensions between Sudan and South Sudan have guaranteed a new role for Chad, also thanks to the support of France, in search of a militarily strong and politically stable ally. From the new African crises, Paris has had confirmation of the importance of the relationship with the former colonies and the need to protect its interests in west-central Africa. counterterrorism launched by France following the Serval operation (with the support of Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Chad), is based in the Chadian capital. In response to France’s political commitment in Mali and the Central African Republic, Paris granted Chad a license to intervene in both crises. N’Djamena also intervened militarily in Cameroon and Nigeria to counter the presence of the terrorist group Boko Haram. The renewed partnership Franco-Chadian represented a new course for Paris policy on the continent. Compared to a start of mandate in which the French president François Hollande was inclined to modify the canons of French politics in Africa, diverting them towards greater respect for democracy and human rights, now the approach of the transalpine authorities seems to be marked by extreme realism and the maintenance of regional balances.