Hot on the heels of yesterday’s posting is news of a new government in Chad.
On 16 April President Idriss Déby appointed Youssouf Saleh Abbas as prime minister. Prime Minister Abbas is a member of the ruling MPS party and is a diplomat by profession. The interesting feature of his government, which was announced on 23 April, is that four members of the main opposition coalition, the CPDC, have been offered and have taken positions in the government. This marks a step change in Chad.
Semi-presidentialism in Chad dates back to the constitution of 1996. This was preceded by a national conference that did include representatives of civil society. However, since 1996 the country has been dominated by President Déby’s party, though there have been negotiations with the opposition at different times.
Only a couple of months ago President Déby was nearly ousted from power by an armed rebellion. The appointment of opposition figures to the government has been taken as a sign of reconciliation. However, the situation remains extremely difficult, not least because one of the main figures of the CPDC ‘disappeared’ in February and there has been no news of him since. According to Le Monde, Prime Minister Abbas has promised to do his best to “shed light” on the issue.