The Politics of Chad

The constitutional basis for the government is the 1996 constitution. A strong executive branch headed by the president dominates the Chadian political system. Chad is a unitary, centralized republic. The executive branch names all 22 governors, 61 prefects, and 252 sub-prefects, who have wide powers to administer the national territory.

The president has the power to appoint the prime minister and the Council of State (or cabinet), as well as judges, military officers, provincial officials, and heads of Chad's parastatal firms. In cases of grave and immediate threat, the president, in consultation with the National Assembly President and Council of State, may declare a state of emergency.

National Assembly deputies are elected by universal suffrage for 4-year terms. The Assembly holds regular sessions twice a year, and can hold special sessions when called for by the prime minister. Deputies elect a president of the National Assembly every 2 years. Assembly deputies or members of the executive branch may introduce legislation; once passed by the Assembly, the president must take action to either sign or reject the law within 15 days. The National Assembly must approve the prime minister's plan of government and may force the prime minister to resign through a majority vote of no confidence. However, if the National Assembly rejects the executive branch's program twice in 1 year, the president may disband the Assembly and call for new legislative elections. In practice, the president exercises considerable influence over the National Assembly through the MPS party structure.

Despite the constitution's guarantee of judicial independence from the executive branch, the president names most key judicial officials. The Supreme Court is made up of a chief justice, named by the president, and 15 councilors chosen by the president and National Assembly; appointments are for life. The Constitutional Council, with nine judges elected to 9-year terms, has the power to review all legislation, treaties and international agreements prior to their adoption. The constitution recognizes customary and traditional law in locales where it is long-established and to the extent it does not interfere with public order or constitutional guarantees of equality for all citizens.

Principal Government Officials

President--Idriss Deby Itno
Prime Minister--Emmanuel Nadingar
Minister of Foreign Affairs--Moussa Faki Mahamat
Minister of Defense, Veterans, and War Victims--Abdelkadir Kamougue
Minister of Finance and Budget--Christian Georges Diguimbaye
President of the National Assembly--Haroun Kabadi

Reference: US State Department - updated January 6, 2012