Opposition party in Chad claims election of new president unconstitutional

Chad’s main opposition parties say the army’s appointment of General Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno as the nation’s new leader is an institutional coup warning against monarchical leadership.

This comes after Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno was named as the new Chad president, after former president Idriss Déby was killed during a battle with rebel forces.

The government and parliament have been dissolved, but constitutional experts say the speaker of parliament should take over when a sitting president dies before organising elections.

Mahamat, 37, is now in charge of a 15-member Transitional Military Council (CMT) that will be in power for the next 18 months.

Mahamat was one of several members of the late president’s family who occupied senior positions in the government.

He was reportedly at the frontline when his father was injured in combat against rebels in the western Kanem Province.

Mahamat is known as “General Kaka” because he was brought up by his grandmother, or “Kaka” in Chadian Arabic.

Déby’s death was announced on state TV on Tuesday – a day after provisional election results projected he would win a sixth term in office at the helm of the oil-rich country that has been at the forefront of regional efforts to fight Islamist militants.

There are fears that the death could trigger political instability in the vast semi-arid country with a long history of rebellions and coup attempts and where the opposition is weak and divided.

An umbrella group of trade unions has joined the opposition to reject the establishment of the Transitional Military Council, calling for dialogue and workers to stay at home until there is a resolution.

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