The Patriotic Salvation Movement (MPS), formerly the ruling party under Idriss Déby, is convening an extraordinary congress this weekend at a prominent hotel in N’Djamena. The official theme is “MPS in the Era of the Fifth Republic,” which commenced with the promulgation of the new constitution at the end of December. Having played a significant role in the success of the “yes” vote in the referendum, the MPS aims to reorganize in preparation for elections that will conclude the transition and potentially lead to a change in leadership.
Mariam Djimet Ibet, former mayor of N’Djamena and president of the organizing committee, will open the debates on Saturday morning. According to a party insider, this congress is intended to “sharpen the tools for regaining power” at the end of the transition.
On paper, the MPS has two strategic options: choose a candidate from within the party or, more likely, support Mahamat Idriss Déby, who is not a member of the party founded by his father but has consistently enjoyed its backing.
While many consider his candidacy highly likely, a party executive notes that “he has not yet shown signs of wanting to enter the preparatory phase of a campaign.” Hence, the delegates may not definitively settle the question but will provide insights into the party’s strategy.
During the congress, changes will be made to the organizational structure, and the size of the political bureau will be reduced. After actively supporting the organization of the national dialogue and the referendum, several members of the leadership are inclined to take a step back.
Heading the party since June 2021, Haroun Kabadi, President of the National Transitional Council, may relinquish the position of secretary-general. The key question remains whether his successor will indeed be a fresh face in the party leadership.