While he has extended the transition period, the President of Chad Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno has just appointed Saleh Kebzabo as Prime Minister.
It's official since this Wednesday: Saleh Kebzabo will govern Chad during the upcoming transition period, although we don't know how long it will last. Last October 10, the maintenance of Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno as president of the transition went almost unnoticed. However, the general, by holding on, sends a signal to the international community: the transition that Chad is experiencing is not one. While it had been set at two years, this transition is likely to continue for a long time.
And of course, after the fiasco of the national dialogue, the opposition, both political and civil, even military, seems disillusioned. Because if Mali, Guinea or Burkina Faso are today scrutinized by international and regional bodies, in a hurry to make rapid transitions, Chad has, without raising an eyebrow, succeeded in exceeding the deadline, which could plunge the country in a long-term status quo.
The holding of “free and democratic elections” postponed or even cancelled, the President of the Transition has decided to choose a new Prime Minister. It didn't take long: two days after being confirmed in his post, Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno appointed Saleh Kebzabo as prime minister. A symbolic choice, as this one, in recent years, has opposed the general's father.
A Prime Minister without political ambitions?
The choice of Saleh Kebzabo can however be explained quite easily. A member of Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno's first transitional government a year and a half ago, Kebzabo enjoys an international aura, notably acquired through his experience as a journalist. The new Prime Minister will therefore, in the first place, be responsible for pushing through the extension of the Chadian transition.
Above all, Saleh Kebzabo has the advantage of having experience but of being closer to retirement than to the start of his political career. At 75, it is indeed difficult to imagine that the Prime Minister will try, in the coming years, to run for the presidency of the country. Kebzabo is therefore a prime minister who will not overshadow General Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno, who has therefore ruled out potential prime ministers to make a strategic choice.
Especially since it is also the choice of continuity. Because Saleh Kebzabo has many supporters within the government of Albert Pahimi Padacké. And the legitimacy of the new Prime Minister is based on the fact that he was appointed, last August, vice-president of the organizing committee of the “inclusive national dialogue”. A legitimacy which is also based on the fact that Kebzabo is an opponent, coming from the south of the country. What to pass the pill of the extension of the transition period.