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Chad PM Submits Resignation To Newly Elected Junta Chief

Masra affirmed that he has resigned, on his Facebook page in a message authenticated by his team.


(FILES) Chad's transitional Prime Minister and Les Transformateurs party presidential candidate Succes Masra (C) reacts after casting his ballot at the Bureau de vote numéro 1 polling station in Carre 30, Abena Area in N'Djamena, on May 6, 2024 during Chad's presidential election. (Photo by Joris Bolomey / AFP)
(FILES) Chad’s transitional Prime Minister and Les Transformateurs party presidential candidate Succes Masra (C) reacts after casting his ballot at the Bureau de vote numéro 1 polling station in Carre 30, Abena Area in N’Djamena, on May 6, 2024 during Chad’s presidential election. (Photo by Joris Bolomey / AFP)

 

 

Chadian Prime Minister Succes Masra said Wednesday he had handed in his resignation, just over two weeks after his defeat to junta chief Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno in presidential elections.

Deby, 40, won the May 6 presidential vote with 61 percent of the ballot, according to final results, and is due to be sworn in at an investiture ceremony on Thursday in the capital N’Djamena.

He was proclaimed transitional president in April 2021 by a junta of 15 generals after his father, iron-fisted president Idriss Deby Itno, had been shot dead by rebels after 30 years in power.

Masra, also aged 40 and once a fierce Deby opponent before becoming prime minister four months ago, won 18.5 percent of the vote, but contested the results.

“I’ve just submitted my resignation and that of the transition government, which became irrelevant with the end of the presidential election,” Masra said on his Facebook page in a message authenticated by his team to AFP.

The move, he added, was also in accordance with the constitution.

Masra claimed victory in the first round of the ballot, which his party called a “masquerade” and which international rights groups had said would be neither credible nor fair.

The economist and former opposition leader faced accusations of being a stooge by the opposition, which has been violently repressed in Chad and its leading figures barred from standing.

But, during the electoral campaign, Masra ramped up considerable support on the stump.

After the Constitutional Council rejected a bid by the prime minister to annul the result, Masra said there was “no other national legal recourse” and called on supporters to “remain mobilised” but “peaceful”.

Exclusion of rivals

Deby called the election to end three years of military rule in a country crucial in the fight against jihadism across Africa’s restive Sahel region.

In 2021, he was quickly endorsed by an international community led by France, whose forces in recent years have been ousted by military regimes in other former colonies Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger.

Chad is France’s last military foothold in the Sahel region, with 1,000 soldiers, and French President Emmanuel Macron has congratulated Deby on his election.

The Sahel nations are reeling from jihadist insurgencies and have strengthened ties with Russia after severing them with Paris.

The United States, which also has security ties with Chad, said before the election that it was withdrawing some of its 100 troops based in the country as part of a campaign against extremism in the Sahel.

Washington has welcomed the holding of the election but said that it was “concerned” by the exclusion of multiple rivals to Deby.

Deby had promised an 18-month transition to democracy but then extended it by two years.

Opposition figures have since fled, been silenced or joined forces with Deby.

Deby’s cousin and chief election rival Yaya Dillo Djerou was shot point-blank in the head in an army assault on February 28, according to his party.