Chad Government and Politics

State and politics

Chad Country Flag

Reference: Chad Flag Meaning

Since the independence of France in 1960, Chad has been characterized by dictatorial rule and violent shifts in power. Also see AbbreviationFinder for abbreviation of CD and its meanings of Chad.


According to, the current constitution was approved in a 1996 referendum and states that Chad is a unified state. The president is elected in general elections for five years, initially with the opportunity to be re-elected. In May 2004, in a vote boycotted by the opposition, the National Assembly decided that the president should be re-elected an unlimited number of times. The amendment came into force since it was approved in a referendum in June 2005. The president appoints a prime minister who submits proposals for the ministerial list. All heads of state since independence have been men. No change of power in Chad has taken place with peaceful means

The National Assembly, which was expanded from 155 to 188 seats in connection with the February 2011 elections, is elected in general elections for a four-year term. However, no elections were held between 2002 and 2011; even the 2015 election was postponed. Of the members elected in 2011, 24 (13 percent) were women. According to the constitution, a senate must also be set up, but this has not yet happened, because the elections to the local and regional assemblies whose members would appoint senators have been postponed indefinitely.


Chad has throughout his time as an independent state characterized by almost uninterrupted armed insurgency. The current President Idriss Déby , like his representatives, came to power through military force. He has since been elected president in 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011 and 2016, the last two times with 89 and 60 percent of the votes respectively. All elections have been surrounded by boycott demands and protests from the opposition to alleged cheating.

The dominant party Mouvement patriotique du Salut (MPS), which gained 113 seats in the National Assembly in 2002, was formed by several movements that opposed former President Hissène Habré and were in practice transformed from armed movement to party in connection with Déby’s takeover of power. The civil party system is otherwise fragmented and weak. The real opposition has always come mainly from armed insurgency movements. Ahead of the 2011 parliamentary elections, the MPS, together with two smaller parties, formed the Alliance pour la renaissance du Chad (ART) coalition, which received a total of 125 seats; 117 of these went to MPS.


The legal order in Chad is mainly French-influenced, but in combination with local custom in, among other things. family law. The death penalty is punished for some serious crimes.

Human Rights

Since independence in 1960, Chad has been plagued by great political instability which has led to serious human rights violations on all fronts.

According to Human Rights Watch, President Idriss Déby has tightened his grip on power and despite the adoption of a new media law in August 2011, the government continues to suppress the free speech. Freedom of expression is guaranteed in Chad’s constitution, but the journalists are exposed to threats, harassment and illegal detention. The Press Act prescribes harsh penalties for, among other things, “insulting the president” and “conspiring with the enemy”, and journalist corps regularly exercises self-censorship. Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index from 2015 places the country in place 135 out of 180 countries.

The Constitution explicitly prohibits torture and other degrading treatment, but the government forces arbitrarily intervene and regularly arrest civilians, regime critics and suspected rebels. Impunity is widespread for government members, security services and police. The arrests are often based on ethnicity and those arrested are subject to abuse and torture, sometimes in unofficial prisons. Chad’s prisons are among the hardest on the African continent and abuse and violence are prevalent.

Rape, child and forced marriage and female genital mutilation were reported frequently in 2010 to the UN Human Rights Monitorer in Eastern Chad. The high levels of violence are exacerbated by a fortified culture of impunity and structural gender inequality. The Constitution guarantees equal rights for women and men, but in practice the position of women is weak and women and girls do not have adequate access to health care and legal services.

Children are extremely vulnerable and child labor, child soldiers and trafficking in street children are common. UN reports indicate that there are child soldiers in the army, in paramilitary forces and in the rebel groups.

Chad is one of the world’s largest refugee recipients and, according to UNHCR, there are approximately 240,000 refugees in Chad, the absolute majority of whom come from the conflict-affected area of Darfur in western Sudan. However, humanitarian work and the security of refugees are hampered by attacks by security forces and rebel groups.

Heads of State


1960-75 François (Ngarta) Tombalbaye
1975-79 Félix Malloum
1979-82 Goukouni Ouddei
1982-90 Hissène Habré
1990- Idriss Déby

Chad Head of Government

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