Chad: Official Campaign for Constitutional Referendum Commences

Soukaina Sghir
Soukaina Sghir
2 Min Read

The official campaign for the constitutional referendum scheduled for December 17, 2023, commenced in Chad on November 25. The text, adopted in June by the transitional parliament, echoes the consensual structure of the 1996 fundamental law.

On the pivotal question of the state’s form, it promises advanced decentralization rather than federalism. The government assures that everyone will be free to campaign, but state resources are being used to mobilize support for the “yes” vote. Opponents of the text advocate for abstention, while a key player has yet to disclose its position.

The forgotten proposal from the national dialogue to vote on the state’s form, unitary or federal, has been set aside by the government. Consequently, Chadian voters will decide on the unitary formula on December 17. This choice has been denounced by the opposition as a “flagrant violation of the letter and spirit” of the inclusive national dialogue.

Some advocates of federalism have changed their stance to support this text, which authorities claim introduces genuine decentralization. This includes the establishment of autonomous communities with sustainable finances and territorial civil service.

The “yes” campaign will be led by Prime Minister Saleh Kebzabo, heading a diverse coalition of 230 parties and 45 signatory movements. Their goal is to mobilize the population extensively, ensuring high participation to legitimize both the text and the transitional process.

Opponents of the text advocate for abstention, criticizing the constitution and the referendum’s organization controlled entirely by the government rather than an independent authority. The method of enrolling an additional 900,000 voters has been a particular point of contention.

Soukaina Sghir

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