For the voters, the referendum marks a long-awaited return to civilian rule because the April 2021 navy takeover.
Chadians have began voting on a brand new structure as a stepping stone to subsequent yr’s election that goals to fix political and group division within the oil-producing, but impoverished and fragmented nation.
For the 8 million registered voters, Sunday’s referendum marks a long-awaited return to civilian rule because the April 2021 navy takeover after the earlier president Idriss Deby was killed by rebels.
However the opposition needs extra autonomy and says the vote is only a farce for the navy management to carry on to energy.
The military had suspended the structure after the demise of President Idriss Deby and dissolved the parliament. Deby’s son, Mahamat Idriss Deby, was then installed by the military as interim president on the helm of a Transitional Navy Council (TMC).
Chad has had little stability since its independence in 1960.
Deby, 38, promised elections in 18 months when he seized energy in April 2021. However his navy administration has retained the facility to increase its “transitional” rule by 18 months.
The proposed structure would certainly set up autonomous communities with native assemblies and councils of conventional chiefdoms amongst different adjustments.
Haroun Kabadi, coordinator of teams voting “Sure”, mentioned the brand new structure presents extra independence as it will enable Chadians to decide on their native representatives and gather native taxes for the primary time.
“These individuals speaking a couple of federation merely need to divide Chadians into micro-states and gasoline hatred between communities,” he mentioned.
The opposition, nevertheless, has confronted arrest, intimidation and threats for greater than a yr, but their message is unified.
“It’s time to let the inhabitants organise into federated states and steer their very own improvement,” Brice Nguedmbaye Mbaimon, who coordinates a coalition voting “No”, mentioned.
Chad had skilled a unitary state for over 50 years with out tangible progress, he mentioned.
‘By no means’
Others are calling for a boycott altogether saying that the referendum is just a ploy by the navy to consolidate extra energy. Prime Minister Albert Pahimi Padacke mentioned the navy rulers had an excessive amount of management over the referendum course of.
“This isn’t truthful, and it’s not democratic. That’s why we’ve got referred to as on Chadians to not take part on this farce.”
A central concern is that the referendum may assist cement the facility of the navy chief, Deby’s son Mahamat Idriss, who has already prolonged a proposed 18-month transition to democracy.
“The sample of delay and obfuscation echoes the long-honed ways of Idriss Deby who got here to energy by pressure in 1990 after which held on to it for 3 a long time,” analysts on the Africa Middle for Strategic Research mentioned.
“They’re all the identical, whether or not they’re campaigning for ‘sure’ or ‘no’. They’ve shared the cash out between themselves,” Badono Daigou for the GCAP opposition platform informed a rally.
“The result’s a foregone conclusion. The ‘sure’ vote will win.”
President Deby was the primary to position his vote in a single polling station in N’Djamena, not removed from the presidential palace.
“Every poll positioned within the poll field is an extra step in the direction of stability and prosperity for our nation,” he mentioned, after voting.
Polls will shut at 5pm (16:00 GMT) native time.