Chad's new constitution passes with 86% of vote

AFP , Sunday 24 Dec 2023

Chad's new constitution was approved by 86 percent of voters in a referendum held a week ago, the African country's electoral commission said Sunday, but opposition leaders challenged the figures.

Chad referendum
Women queue to cast their votes during the constitutional referendum at a polling station in N Djamena, Chad. AFP


The country's military rulers have promoted the new constitution as a key step in the path back to civilian rule, but it had been denounced by opposition politicians, with some calling for a boycott of the December 17 vote.

Turnout stood at 63.75 percent, the electoral commission said, which opposition leaders contested.

"The participation was much less than what the officials announced," said Max Kemkoye, head of an opposition group. "Everyone saw on voting day that the boycott was respected.

"They have fiddled with the results, raising them over time to make them public today," said Yoyana Banyara, head of the Federal Bloc, which had called for a "no" vote. "It's a disgrace for the country."

The electoral authorities said that apart from some "minor disfunctions", the referendum had passed off smoothly.

The results are preliminary, with the definite results due from the Supreme Court on December 28.

The referendum is a key step in the return to civilian rule by end-2024 promised by the military leaders.

But many opposition leaders say it is just a show to prepare the way for the eventual election of military leader General Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, who assumed power in 2021 following the death of his father, who himself took power in a coup 33 years ago.

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