Security Outlook of The Transition Presidential Elections in Chad

The first and second rounds of the 2024 presidential election will be held on May 6 and June 22, respectively. Chad has around 8.2 million voters. Official campaigns commenced on April 14 and will end on May 4. Interim President Mahamat Déby Itno and Prime Minister Succès Masra are the leading candidates. There are concerns over vote rigging, election-related violence, and political instability. Security measures have been enhanced nationwide to prevent violence. Chad’s risk profile will be high before, during, and after the elections. This report assesses the implications of the transitional elections on Chad’s security environment. It highlights the risks businesses will face and advice on the risk mitigation measures

President Déby during a campaign rally in N’Djamena on April 14, 2024

Source: AFP

The Constitutional Council of Chad has cleared 10 candidates to run in the presidential election. The leading candidates are interim President Mahamat Déby Itno and Prime Minister Assyongar Masra Succès. Their brief profiles are as follows:

Mahamat Déby Itno
Mahamat Déby Itno was nominated by long-time ruling party, the Patriotic Salvation Movement (MPS). The MPS has been in power since 1990 when Mahamat’s father, Idriss Déby became president. Mahamat has served as interim president since April 2021 when he usurped power unconstitutionally after Idriss Déby died. President Mahamat is a four-star general of the Chadian armed forces.

Succès Masra
Succès Masra is the leader of the Transformers Party and is running under the Equal Justice coalition. He was appointed prime minister by President Mahamat on January 1 this year. Prime Minister Masra was a vocal opposition leader before his appointment. In September 2022, Masra led protests to denounce the dialogue between the military regime and opposition parties. Around 90 protesters were arrested. A month later in October, Masra led anti-military protests after President Mahamat announced the extension of military rule by two years. Over 70 protesters died after protests turned violent. His appointment was Mahamat’s strategy to consolidate power following extensive negotiations with Masra.

Other Candidates and Parties
The eight other candidates are as follows: Alladoum Djarma Baltazar (Chadian Socialist Action for Renewal party), Bebzouné Bongoro Theophile (the PRET party), Lydie Beassemda, Mansiri Lopsékréo (The Elites Party), Mbaimon Guedmbayë Brice (the MPTR party), Nasra Djimasngar (the New Day party), Pahimi Padacké Albert (the National Rally for Democracy party), and Yacine Abderamane Sakine (The Reformist Party).

Rejected Candidates
Nassour Ibrahim Neguy Koursami and Rakhis Ahmat Saleh were rejected due to irregularities in their applications.

The following are chronological developments on election-related violence amid concerns of political instability in Chad:

April 17, 2024: President Mahamat ordered the military to arrest civilians intending to organize pre-election and post-election violence. Mahamat’s campaign team has been attacked several times by members of the opposition and civil society groups. These groups have called for a boycott of the elections terming the polls as a fraud. President Mahamat blamed opposition leaders barred from the elections for inciting violence.

February 28, 2024: The leader of the Socialist Party Without Borders (PSF) Yaya Dillo and around 10 supporters were killed by Chadian security forces. Soldiers attacked the PSF’s headquarters in N’Djamena after claiming that Dillo was planning a coup. Dillo was a cousin to President Mahamat. Another senior PSF leader and paternal uncle of President Mahamat, Salary Deby, was arrested.

January 13, 2024: Around 80 suspects were arrested following claims of an attempted coup. Authorities said the suspects were affiliated with the M3M movement.