Chad Presidential Election: April 11, 2020 and Parliamentary and Local Elections: October 24, 2021

Voters in Chad’s 2016 election. Photo credit: VOA/Bagassi Koura (Public Domain)

Freedom House Rating

Not Free
Government Type
Presidential Republic
15.8 million
Presidential Election
April 11, 2021
Parliamentary and Local Elections

October 24, 2021

Presidential Election
April 10, 2016
Parliamentary Elections
February 11, 2013

Chad plans to hold a presidential election on April 11, 2021 and long-delayed long-delayed parliamentary and local elections on October 24, 2021. Voters will elect members of the Assemblée nationale du Tchad, the unicameral national legislature, for four year terms, plus local offices. Originally due in 2015, the polls have been delayed multiple times.

Political Context

President Idriss Déby seized power in a rebellion in 1990, and although the country holds elections, there has never been a change in power by a free or fair vote. However, the opposition does hold seats in the National Assembly. Chad is one of the poorest countries in the world, and its economy depends on oil, meaning it will be hit particularly hard by the global slump in oil prices.

Western governments, particularly France, view the Déby regime as a security partner in countering terrorism in the region, and provide military aid. Opposition activists face arrest and mistreatment. There are concerns that the regime uses counterterrorism as an excuse for suppressing legitimate political opposition. However, terrorism remains a very real threat – for example, in March 2020, Boko Haram terrorists attacked a garrison of Chadian soldiers, killing 92 of them in the worst attack the Chadian army has ever faced.

Following a 2018 constitutional change, Déby could remain in power until 2033.

Long-Delayed Legislative Elections

The mandate of the current National Assembly expired in 2015, and the elections have been delayed multiple times. The government has blamed cost for the delays, but the opposition holds that the real issue is a lack of political will.

Geopolitical Context

Chad sits at the crossroads of various political, religious, and ethnic faultlines in the region. Libya has a long history of involvement in Chad, and frequently played the role of power broker between various Chadian factions. France also has a long history of deep involvement.

Curated News and Analysis

World Politics Review (July 30, 2020): What Would It Take for Idriss Deby to Fall in Chad?

AFP (July 2, 2020): Chad Sets October 2021 For Delayed Legislative Election

Jeune Afrique/AFP (June 10, 2010 – in French): Chad: new postponement of the legislative elections initially scheduled for 2015

International Crisis Group (May 25, 2020): As Chad’s Problems Mount, What Role for Civil Society?

Will Brown, Foreign Policy (April 1, 2020): As the World Is Distracted, Boko Haram Terrorists Strike a Key Western Ally

The Economist (July 18, 2019): Idriss Déby, Chad’s despot, is struggling to stay in power

21votes does not necessarily agree with all of the opinions expressed in the linked articles; rather, our goal is to curate a wide range of voices. Furthermore, none of the individuals or organizations referenced have reviewed 21votes’ content, and their inclusion should not be taken to imply that they endorse us in any way. More on our approach here

Updated September 28, 2020

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