Chad: Debate Over Proposed Constitutional Changes

RFI (French) published a story yesterday headlined, “In Chad, a Plan for Modifying the Constitution worries the opposition.” The ruling Patriotic Salvation Movement (MPS) introduced the plan in a special session of the national assembly. RFI mentioned two key proposals included in the plan. One would change Article 71 of the constitution (.pdf, French), which states, “The functions/duties of the President of the Republic are incompatible with the exercise of any other elective mandate, any public employment, and any other profitable, professional activity. They are also incompatible with all activity within a party or group of political parties or a trade union organization.” MPS argues that it is incoherent to have the president elected on a party’s platform but then unable to participate in party activities.

The second major change would end the permanent tenure for Supreme Court judges. This plank seems to be the larger concern for the opposition. MPS leaders argue that permanent tenure is meant to ensure judicial independence, but that other parts of the constitution guarantee judges their independence, obviating the need for permanent tenure. Opponents of the change argue that eliminating permanent tenure would expose judges, even more, to political pressure. This political struggle will be worth following.

About these ads

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s