Chad: “No one is afraid to face Mahamat Idriss Déby in the elections”

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In Chad, the inclusive and sovereign national dialogue must end at the end of the week. Some important conclusions were formulated by the plenary: a new 24-month transition will begin, led by Mahamat Idriss Déby. At the end of which he will be able, like the other transition leaders, to ask the voters to vote. The opponent Succès Masra, leader of the Transformers party, asks for clarification and new negotiations.

RFI: The national, inclusive and sovereign dialogue has decided that Mahamat Idriss Déby could stand as a candidate in the elections that will be held at the end of the transition. How do you react to this decision?

Mass result: The right to apply is not the duty to apply. I believe that the president of the Transitional Military Council, Mahamat Déby, had made a commitment and has not yet pronounced himself following what emerged from the discussions at the palace on January 15, where the participants considered it appropriate to give him the possibility of being a candidate. There are things to which you may be entitled, but which may appear politically inadequate. It will be up to him, either to keep the initial commitment, or to explain to the Chadians, and to each other, why perhaps he will give up this initial choice.

So, initially, he will lead this transition which could last up to 24 months. Under what conditions can this transition work? Is the fact that it is directed by Mahamat Idris Déby a problem, in your opinion?

It depends on how the transition management bodies will be organized. It is not a personal question. This is not a nominal question. It’s about how to co-manage this transition so that, ultimately, confidence is restored to allow the upcoming elections to be true elections. For the moment, she has not yet said his intentions. Maybe, I guess, at the end of the transition, he will decide not to run.

What if he is a candidate?

If he is a candidate, then at some point the upstream balancing will have to be done in a way that builds trust, because if he has all the powers in his hands. You know that all power tends to corrupt. And absolute power absolutely corrupts. And therefore, we cannot afford to do that. This is why the question of how to handle the rest of the transition will also depend on his clarification.

Today, palace talks say he may be a candidate, which is not what he is committed to. If it has changed, he should be able to tell. And the way of organizing the management of the suite must integrate these elements to allow us to create something credible for everyone. Because in the end no one is afraid to face Mahamat [Idriss Déby] to an election. We have said it, at least for us, from the beginning: if the conditions for a balanced election are met, the results will be binding on everyone. And that is why the Chadians are ready, in a sense, to get involved.

But concretely how to organize this co-management that you are asking for?

In concrete terms, these are the balances of power. Today, as resolutions are being made, all powers will be in the hands of one person. This is not defensible. The question, for example, of the immovability of the leaders of the transitional bodies and of the members of the various transitional bodies, including the body that will handle the elections, is not mentioned. All of this needs to be discussed.

So, do we need another dialogue to prolong this?

In both cases. In a second format or another. But the essential is that we will have to have discussions that allow us to co-create the conditions for something that takes into account some good ideas that came out of this building on January 15th. But to which we must add important things that are not in this building …

Like what for example?

For example, the release of prisoners of war. The conditions we demand to make sure that the transitional organs are not in the hands of one person, are not dominated in terms of representativeness by people who may actually come from one part of the country. All of this is the balance we need to find in order for us to get there.

What do you expect from the international community today?

Keeping its commitments, as the international community has also made commitments, both France, the United States, the African Union, the United Nations, and Europe. This international community that has stated that it will stand by the side of the Chadian people so that there is a true democracy and that there is no dynastic succession plan or dynastic transmission of power, etc. It is in the light of this that everyone is expected today.

Chadians do not want press releases to express concerns. Chadians want an international community that can act alongside the Chadian people on the basis of justice and equality.

► Also read: Inclusive National Dialogue in Chad: Political Reactions to Extending Transition

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