The transition began on Monday, April 19, when Idriss Déby’s remains were brought back to Ndjamena but he has not yet been announced re-elected to the presidency. The day is busy at the presidential palace: Mahamat Idriss Déby is placed at the head of a Military Council of fifteen members, in still uncertain circumstances. Officially, the President of the National Assembly Haroun Kabadi has voluntarily refused to assume the charge devolved by the Constitution. He officially became in mid-June the general secretary of the MPS, the party of the former president.
Mahamat Idriss Déby is not the most famous son of the “Marshal”. Before him, Zakaria was a time in the footsteps of their father, before being appointed ambassador to the Gulf, to “keep him away” say the critics. His little brother Abdelkerim, younger of the prestigious military academy of West Point, polyglot with a pleasant physique, had joined the presidential cabinet and aroused the curiosity of observers. But it is he, Mahamat known as “Kaka”, the director general of the DGSSIE, the presidential guard, general of the army corps, who obtains the confidence of the executives of the Chadian military and security apparatus, to ensure it. preservation.
The suspended constitution
On the morning of the 20th, the Constitution is suspended, the Transitional Military Council (CMT) is set up. The next day, a charter is published. Alongside the CMT, it provides for a CNT, the National Transitional Council, of 93 members “from all classes of society”, responsible for legislative power and for examining the draft new Constitution. The charter also provides for a transitional government, and sets a period of 18 months to adopt a Constitution and organize elections. Period renewable once in the event of a blockage. As soon as the charter was announced, opponents and civil society doubted the sincerity of the military.
On April 27, Mahamat Idriss Déby addresses his compatriots for the first time, most of whom are discovering the sound of his voice. In hesitant French, he assures us that “the members of the CMT are soldiers who have no other ambition than to serve their country loyally and with honor”. After a morning marked by demonstrations whose repression claimed a dozen victims, he promises a “government of national reconciliation” and an inclusive national dialogue which “will not evade any subject of national interest”. He reaffirms the objective of “organizing democratic, free and transparent elections as soon as possible” before concluding with a call for “sacred union”.
As Prime Minister, his choice fell on Albert Pahimi Padacké. A man who served his father for a long time before opposing it, and competing in the last presidential election. His government, formed on May 2, opens up beyond the previous majority, including notably the opponent Mahamat Ahmat Alhabo in Justice, the presidential candidate Lydie Beassemda, and members of the UNDR of Saleh Kebzabo.
Where is the transition today?
As for the CNT, its creation is still awaited. Opponents who have played the game of transition hope to influence the debates on the next Constitution, and the organization of elections. The same goes for the “inclusive national dialogue”. A decree of July 2 lays down the modalities: the organizations concerned (parties, unions, civil society organizations, religious denominations, traditional chiefdoms, organizations of women, of the diaspora or of people with disabilities) must currently meet with the minister. in charge of Acheikh Ibn Oumar Reconciliation and forward their candidates to some 70 places on the steering committee, according to the distribution key fixed by the decree.
But the progress of this dialogue is not suitable for all: the Wakit Tama coordination, formed during the presidential campaign and initiator of the violently dispersed gatherings on April 27, considers it “exclusive”. She also wonders about the government’s ability to carry it out, while the decree provides that almost all appointments will be made “after consulting the President of the Transitional Military Council”.
Among the members of Wakit Tama, Succès Masra, leader of the Transformers, a party just regularized by the authorities, believes that we have “started again with the same people who were at the 2018 dialogue, the same who had validated the Constitution, the same people want be in charge of the transition. Chadians are well aware that the same causes produce the same consequences ”.
The CMT must accelerate and open the dialogue, believes Saleh Kebzabo, president of the UNDR: “There are breaking points that have not arrived, we are still waiting, but I do not think so. that we can wait longer. Certain strong gestures must be taken quickly. In particular the establishment of the CNT, even if it is controversial, and especially a timetable for the dialogue ”.
For most policies, dialogue will only be successful if all stakeholders are involved. Jean-Bernard Padaré, spokesperson for the MPS, however, makes things clear: “Dialogue means saying what is wrong and how to pull Chad upwards. If it is to come to the trial of the thirty years, I am very afraid that it turns into a rat race ”.
Doubts about meeting deadlines
In mid-June, at Jeune Afrique, Mahamat Idriss Déby assured: “Our wish is not to go beyond (the 18 months), but there are two conditions for this deadline to be respected. The first is that we, Chadians, be able to come to an understanding in order to move forward at the planned pace. The second is that our partners help us to finance the dialogue and the elections, because it is obvious that the Chadian Treasury will not be able to bear such a cost alone. If we get along and if we are helped, the 18 months are within our reach. Otherwise, it will be very difficult ”.
In the same interview, Mahamat Idriss Déby answered the other poignant question: whether he could be a candidate at the end of the transition. “CMT members will therefore not run in the election.” […] it is a commitment which was made in front of the people, ”he said, not without leaving a slight doubt. “Having said that, as a believer, I think we have to give God his rightful share. God decides everything, fate as well as power ”.
It will be up to the future dialogue to decide the question of eligibility, but already, senior Chadian officials assure that it will be “practically impossible” to meet the 18-month deadline given the tasks that must be accomplished. They also refuse to make a clear commitment on the non-eligibility of CMT members.