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Chad’s former opposition politician named prime minister

New Delhi, Jan. 3: Chad’s transitional President Gen. Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno appointed former opposition leader Succes Masra as prime minister, reports Anadolu Agency.

“Dr. Succes Masra is appointed prime minister, head of the transition government,” said a presidential decree read out on national television on Monday.

Masra will serve through the transition to civilian rule, it added.

His appointment came days after last month’s constitutional referendum which is expected to pave the way for the country to return to civilian rule.

Masra will replace Saleh Kebzabo, who along with his government resigned on Dec. 29 following the promulgation of the new constitution.

Masra supported the “yes” camp which won the referendum with 86% of the vote.

He along with other opposition politicians fled to exile in the aftermath of the Oct. 20, 2022, deadly protests against the extension of military rule.

Masra, head of the Transformers party, returned to the country in November last year following an agreement signed in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, in October, with the military government guaranteeing him free exercise of political activities.

The Dec. 17, 2023 poll was held to decide on whether Chad should adopt a new constitution. The “yes” camp advocated for a new constitution that would bring a “unitary and decentralized state” in order to preserve the country’s unity.

Deby took leadership of Chad in 2021 following the death of his father, Idriss Deby Itno, who died on the frontline of a war against rebels after ruling for 30 years.

The younger Deby had pledged to hand over power to an elected government after 18 months – a deadline that was not achieved as elections were postponed to this year.

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