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State structure

The 1996 Constitution provides for a multi-party system. The president is directly elected for a five-year term. Since 2005, he can be re-elected without limitation. The president elects the prime minister, who then forms the council of ministers. Legislative power lies with the parliament, which has two chambers that are directly elected. The National Assembly, which has 155 members, is elected for a period of four years. A Senate, with a two-year mandate, has not yet convened. Of the 155 seats in the National Assembly, 110 are currently held by the MPS. The majority of the opposition in Parliament is somehow linked to the MPS.


Democratic reforms and the introduction of a multi-party system were announced when Déby took office in 1990. Parliamentary and presidential elections took place in 1996 and 1997. Tensions between the North and South continued, as did conflicts between the government and rebels (who had by then united in the Mouvement pour la Démocratie et le Dévelopment), and other opposition parties such as the Comité de Sursaut National pour la Paix et la Démocratie (CSNPD) in the South.

In October 1997, as a result of discontent over the lack of promised reforms, fighting broke out in the South between government troops and the southern rebel movement FARF, which advocates a federation. After failed coups in 2004 and 2006, D éby's position is increasingly weakened by divisions within the army and his own Zaghawa tribe. In eastern Chad, Sudanese-backed rebel movements such as the "Rassemblement pour la Démocratie et la Liberté" (RDL) and the "Front Uni pour le Changement" (FUC), using Darfur as a base, carry out anti-government activities. On 18 December 2005, rebels led by Mahamat Nouri attacked the small town of Adré.

An agreement concluded on 8 February 2006 under the auspices of President Gaddafi, whereby Chad and Sudan promised to refrain from interfering in each other's internal affairs (i.e. supporting rebels), has not been honoured to date. On 13 April 2006, FUC rebels attacked N' Djamena. This was repelled by the government army with logistical support from France.

Meanwhile, on 3 May 2006, President Déby was re-elected for a third term with almost 65% of the votes. These elections, based on a circumvented amendment to the constitution, were boycotted by the opposition.

While the UN Security Council has been studying the possibility of deploying peacekeeping troops on the Darfur-Chad/RCA border since late 2006, confrontations took place in January 2007 in the Adré area between the government army and a new coalition of rebel movements called the Union des Forces pour la Démocratie et le Développement (UFDD) led by General Mahamat Nouri.

In the margins of the Franco-African summit, in February 2007, an agreement was reached between the presidents of Sudan, Chad and CAR, whereby they promised to refrain from supporting rebels in each other's countries, "in accordance with the Tripoli Agreement".

The current situation is described in the history section.


The opportunities for economic growth are structurally limited by a combination of poor climatic conditions, very poor infrastructure, political-military conflicts, poor governance, the lack of an exit to the sea, and having a large debt.

The trade balance has always been in deficit, mainly due to low domestic production, high transport costs and large food imports. The economy has been heavily dependent on aid from France, the United States, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the EU (aimed at improving infrastructure, among other things).

There are large regional economic disparities in Chad. The northern regions are very sparsely populated and there is hardly any formal economic activity. The south, on the other hand, is much more densely populated and cotton production provides an income for a large part of the population. At least 80% of Chad's population relies on subsistence farming and animal husbandry for their livelihoods. Economic growth was -3.1% in 2017 and GDP per capita was $2,300.

For some years now, hopes for progress have been pinned on an oil extraction project in the south of the country. The exploitation is in the hands of an oil consortium consisting of Exxon Mobile, Petronas (Malaysia) and Chevron. Oil provides the lion's share of export revenue. Cotton, cattle and gum arabic provide the other part of Chad's exports. The total value of exports was $2.5 billion (2017). The united States and China are Chad's biggest buyers. Imported are machinery, transport equipment and food. The total value of imports was $2.2 billion. Thanks to oil, Chad has a surplus on the trade balance.

Chad's investment climate remains challenging due to limited infrastructure, lack of skilled workers, extensive government bureaucracy and corruption.


Elmar Landeninformatie

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated April 2024
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