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Former Chad opposition leader appointed as PM of transitional government

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Al Jazeera


Succes Masra returned from exile in November after signing a reconciliation agreement with Chad’s military rulers.

Chad’s transitional government has appointed former opposition leader Succes Masra, who recently returned to the country following exile, as prime minister.

Masra will serve through the transition to civilian rule, Mahamat Ahmad Alhabo, Chad’s new secretary-general of the presidency, said on Monday.

Masra, president of The Transformers party, strongly opposed the military rulers who came to power in April 2021 after the death of Idriss Deby Itno, who led the country for 30 years.

In a referendum last month on a new constitution, where 86 percent of participants voted “yes”, Masra urged supporters to vote in favour of the constitution, which is now expected to pave the way towards an election.

He argued that its adoption would accelerate the end of the transition, while the rest of the opposition urged Chadians to vote ‘”no” or to boycott the referendum.

Succes Masra
Chadian opposition leader Succes Masra (centre) casts his vote at a polling station during the constitutional referendum in N’Djamena [Denis Sassou Gueipeur/AFP]

Masra fled Chad shortly after dozens of people were killed in October 2022 in a crackdown on protests against the military rulers, who had just extended by two years an 18-month transition supposed to culminate in elections and the return of power to a civilian government.

Authorities say about 50 people were killed that day, while opposition parties and non-governmental organisations say between 100 and 300 people were killed.

Almost all of the victims were shot dead by the military and police in the capital N’Djamena.

Masra returned from exile on November 3 after a reconciliation agreement was signed in the Democratic Republic of Congo capital, Kinshasa, on October 31, which guaranteed him the ability to participate in political activities.

However, several opposition parties have distanced themselves from Masra and spoke out about the general amnesty that the regime has granted for “all Chadians, civilians and military” involved in the events of the October 2022 protest.