The day following the constitutional referendum in Chad, while awaiting the announcement of preliminary results, the entire nation is closely scrutinizing the issue of voter turnout, a key focal point of this election.
Reports from local media and private observations indicate low voter participation in the Chadian capital, a sentiment shared privately by several observers, who, at this stage, maintain a “duty of reserve”.
Throughout the day, voters appeared to present themselves individually, with none of the typical long queues forming outside polling stations from as early as 6 a.m., a scene often associated with presidential or legislative elections, as attested by numerous witnesses.
Zenab, a resident in her thirties from the 8th district of Ndjamena, voted in the afternoon, accompanied by a few young individuals. She believes there is still enthusiasm for this referendum, “We are engaged. You have seen the positive aspect of this referendum, you have seen outside the polling station. Chadians are aware and eager for a return to constitutional order.”
“Even if I vote, it’s the ‘yes’ that will prevail”
Both camps had emphasized voter turnout as the primary focus of this referendum. When questioned about the low turnout, the Conarec, the body responsible for organizing the constitutional referendum, could not provide figures on Sunday evening and declined to comment on the matter.
While the transitional authorities believe they have made arrangements for the smooth conduct of this referendum, some irregularities have been highlighted by certain observers, as reported by our correspondent Olivier Monodji. These include difficulties in obtaining voter cards, delays in the opening of polling stations, and a limited number of “No” ballots.
“I couldn’t vote because I didn’t receive my card. And I know that even if I vote, it’s the ‘yes’ that will prevail,” expresses Jean de Dieu, a young civil servant encountered in the 7th district of Ndjamena who chose not to cast his vote.