The Prime Minister of Chad, Succès Masra, announced that he had submitted his resignation on Wednesday May 22, a little more than two weeks after his defeat in the presidential election of May 6 won by General Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno, head of the junta in power for three years.

“I have just presented my resignation and that of the transitional government, which has become irrelevant with the end of the presidential election”, and “in accordance with the Constitution”, writes Mr. Masra on his Facebook page, in a message authenticated with the AFP through its services.

Mr. Déby, 40, was proclaimed transitional president by a junta of fifteen generals on April 20, 2021 following the death of his father Idriss Déby Itno, head of state for more than thirty years, killed by rebels while returning to the front. The young general was officially declared elected in the presidential election with 61% of the vote. He is due to be sworn in on Thursday in an investiture ceremony in N’Djamena.

Mr. Masra, who received 18.54% according to figures validated by the Constitutional Council, contested this result, considering himself elected in the first round in this election described by his party as a “masquerade” and by some “Non-credible” international NGOs. He had filed an appeal to annul the vote, which was rejected by the Constitutional Council on May 16.

“Peaceful” combat

The economist, also aged 40, was a former fierce opponent of Déby father and son before joining the junta and being named prime minister by Mahamat Déby four months before the presidential election. He had been accused by the rest of the opposition and a significant segment of civil society opposed to the junta of having been a candidate in the election with the tacit agreement of General Déby to “give a democratic veneer” to a ” ballot decided in advance”. And to perpetuate the tandem in power.

But, over the course of the campaign, he had gathered considerable crowds during his meetings, to the point of becoming emboldened and saying he was capable of winning, if not of pushing Mr. Déby to a second round.

After the rejection of his appeal by the Constitutional Council and the proclamation of the official results, Mr. Masra played appeasement by admitting that there was “no longer any legal recourse at the national level” and called on his supporters to continue “ peacefully” the “political fight”.

If Masra’s supporters protested in the streets, it could open the way to deadly violence, with opposition demonstrations being systematically repressed – sometimes bloodily – in this country marked, since its independence from France in 1960, by coups, authoritarian regimes and the regular onslaught of a multitude of rebellions.

Election not “credible”

Mahamat Déby was dubbed upon his installation by the army in 2021 by an international community, led by France, quick to condemn the putschists elsewhere in Africa. On May 17, French President Emmanuel Macron “congratulated” him on his election.

Paris still has a thousand soldiers in Chad, considered a pillar of the anti-jihadist fight in the Sahel, after French soldiers were expelled from Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger.

In tune with the opposition, international NGOs were concerned before the election, like the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), of an election “neither credible, nor free, nor democratic”, ” in a deleterious context marked by (…) the multiplication of human rights violations”.

The junta violently repressed all opposition and excluded General Déby’s most dangerous rivals from the vote. Two months before the election, Yaya Dillo, his cousin and fiercest rival for the presidential election, was killed by soldiers in the assault on his party headquarters. “Assassinated” with a “point-blank bullet to the head”, according to his party. International NGOs are calling, so far in vain, for an independent investigation into his death.