Chad Elections: Immense Challenges Await New Leader

Chad is expected to hold its presidential elections on April 10th but the challenges are immense for the whoever emerges winner of the upcoming polls.

Security will be one of the first priorities. The fight against Boko Haram militants is weighing heavily on the resources of the country that is already facing a difficult economic situation from plummeting oil prices.

Chad, situated in the middle of a volatile region, has either been part of the regional security problem or has suffered as collateral damage. As an immediate neighbour to Nigeria and their military assistance to fight Boko Haram, the country has been the victim of attacks by the terrorist group.

Chad depends largely on the money from the sale of crude to sustain its economy and the slump in global oil prices has hit the country hard. Diversification of the economy is therefore essential.

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Finally, the next president will have to mobilize around Chadian national unity following months of political jostling.

Several leaders of civil society groups are still languishing in prison for opposing what they say is a new mandate for President Idris Deby who is seeking another term in office and who is favored to win.

Deby, 63, seized power in 1990 after toppling Hissene Habre and later modified the constitution in 2004, scrapping its two-term limit on presidential tenure, and won the following elections by a huge majority.

He has promised to placate protesters concerns if re-elected including a pledge to re-introduce presidential term limits if he wins in April but the opposition has warned it will not accept a “rigged” result.


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