Opposition figure Succès Masra, president of the Transformers party, returned to Ndjamena in early November 2023 after reconciling with transitional President Mahamat Idriss Déby. His stance on the upcoming constitutional referendum scheduled for December 17 has been eagerly anticipated.
On the occasion of the 65th anniversary of the proclamation of the Chadian Republic, Succès Masra addressed the issue on Tuesday, opting for what he termed “the third way.”
Masra officially cites the ongoing debate within his party, Transformateurs, between proponents of a unitary state and supporters of a federal state as the reason for his position. Regarding the proposed constitution as a whole, Masra asserts that it is an improvement over the one adopted in 2020, even though it does not incorporate his primary demands, such as a presidential ticket consisting of an elected president and vice president, as well as the election of provincial governors. Nevertheless, he urges Chadians to vote according to their conscience.
Critics, particularly from within the Chadian opposition advocating against the referendum, argue that Succès Masra’s non-committal stance demonstrates his constraints due to the Kinshasa Agreement signed with the transitional government. They assert that he has chosen to be a “weather vane” instead of a “compass” guiding the Chadian people’s choice.
“Steadfast” in the face of criticism
Succès Masra dismisses these critiques, asserting his steadfastness and emphasizing that he chose “reconciliation within justice.” He contends that, for progress, both the transitional president and himself had to make concessions. Asserting his status as a statesman, Masra refutes claims of any “secret agreement” between them, as alleged by some.
The debate surrounding the constitutional referendum in Chad continues, with Succès Masra’s positioning adding an intriguing dimension to the unfolding political landscape.