After the success of the National Movement Party, led by the late Chadian President, Field Marshal Idriss Deby, in seizing power in 1990 with the help of France and some countries in the region; He managed to hold an all-inclusive national conference to establish the new phase of government in Chad’s history.
At the beginning of 1991, the National Charter was approved, which represented the basic document by which he ruled the country until the adoption of the constitution in 1996, when the movement was transformed into a political party in the manner of African leaders in their slogans, “the comprehensive party that includes all, dominates all, and leads the country and the people.”
political movement out of a military rule
It is the philosophy of governance in Africa, where the founding man and the inspiring leader who leads the party, the state, and society until his death, and it is the same philosophy with which Idriss Deby ran the party and the state.
Deby tried to accommodate everyone in his movement so that it would be a “leading and pioneering movement” as described by its supporters, with an insignificant margin for those who refuse to join the movement and oppose his rule. The hegemony of the ruling party, and at the same time decorates the political scene, presents Chad as a member of the club of democratic countries with pluralistic parties and free competition.
The National Movement in Chad continued to win all sessions at the level of the presidency and parliament seats in comfortable proportions, despite the presence of about 100 parties in the country. Therefore, it is difficult to objectively assess the party’s experience due to the turbulence of the political situation in the country during the period of its rule.
The absence of the founder and signs of divisions
The internal scene in the national movement seemed turbulent after the departure of the “big man”, and agendas that had been hidden, projects that had been suppressed, and voices that had been suppressed emerged.
A clear disagreement emerged over the holding of the tenth extraordinary conference between the Secretary-General and his deputies, a dispute that experts in Chadian affairs interpreted as a dispute between the founders and the directions of the upcoming leadership of the movement. inside the party.
The call to announce the convening of the tenth extraordinary conference was launched by the First Deputy Secretary-General, Mrs. Majidian Baja Ruth (on June 4, 2021), and not by Secretary-General Muhammad Zain Bad, as stipulated by the party’s internal regulations, who denied his knowledge of the matter and issued a decision canceling the convening of the conference.
Zainbad said that he did not authorize his deputy to take such a decision, which he considered a violation of the provisions of the party statute, and added that the invitation to the extraordinary conference could only come from the Secretary-General or from two-thirds of the members of the Salvation Council, and he saw in this step a conspiracy to bring him down.
The decision to hold the conference was issued under the slogan “Revitalizing the National Salvation Movement,” and it was decided to hold it on June 12 and 13, 2021, and on the eighth of the same month, the deputies of the movement’s parliamentary bloc met at the parliament headquarters to hear the decision and form the organizing committee of the conference, where the second deputy secretary was assigned General Jean Bernard is chaired by him, assisted by 3 deputies, a rapporteur of the committee and also assisted by 3 deputies. Muhammad Hamid Kowa – a businessman in the party – was chosen as treasurer, and a number of sub-committees and advisors were formed with a total of about 70 members.
Currents rejecting the extraordinary conference
After announcing the holding of the extraordinary conference, a number of currents rejecting it emerged, and they can be divided as follows:
- 1 Founders’ Stream
This group is issued by General Musa Harun Tergo, refusing to hold the conference and warning those calling for it. He justified this by not consulting the founding members of the National Movement, as General Harun was the head of the first conference of the movement in 1990.
This current says that holding the conference without referring to the founders or consulting them “is considered disrespectful to them and the founding generation” to which the late President Idriss Deby belonged. General Haroun mentioned a number of founders who were marginalized, stressing in his message that things will not be as they were yesterday, and that “The national movement is not the legacy of anyone until the early pioneers and founders and those who have become the stoners are excluded from it” until this movement is established, he said.
- 2 “Thinking group”
A statement was issued by a group calling itself the “Thinking Group” – formed by a number of cadres of the Arab component in the party – signed by Dr. Omar Hamdan Iqimar, as its general coordinator, in which the group expresses its deep concern for the conditions within the national movement and criticizes “those who claim ownership of the movement and not others “.
The group said that holding the conference is considered premature due to the circumstances the country is going through, and stressed that the silence of its members “must be understood as taking into account the national interest of the state and the party,” and that they “will have another opinion in the event the conflict of interests and ethnicities continues within the movement.”
- 3 Public opinion and stakeholders
The dominant opinion in Chad considers the convening of the conference as not a priority, as the search for harmony and stability for all Chadians must take precedence over the arrangements of the National Movement, which is a party among the parties that make up the political scene, although it is the predominant voice in the Chadian street.
They also believe that the entire state needs to be restructured to get out of the quagmire of crises that hit it, and then all national capabilities and efforts should be mobilized for the establishment of the “inclusive constitutional national conference.”
The two conferences were held at the Radisson Blu Hotel in the southern suburb of the Chadian capital, N’Djamena, where the attendees included members of the National Salvation Council, members of the Political Bureau, support and support offices, state officials and secretaries of allied political parties.
A documentary film was shown summarizing the life of the late President Idriss Deby and his role in the cohesion of the party, and the conferees observed a minute of silence to mourn his soul.
The head of the Preparatory Committee said that the aim of the conference is to “revitalize the party and inject new, young blood into it” to lead the country in the coming period.
As for the president of the conference, Majidian Baja Ruth, she said that “in the absence of the founder (Idriss Deby), we are witnessing a collapse of the political gains achieved during his reign, and therefore the conference was convened to think about ways to preserve these gains.”
She added, “The question that we must ask ourselves is what should we do about the responsibilities that our citizens have entrusted to us, and what should we do about the nation’s problems?” She called for work for a “better life for generations” and “to pay more attention to youth because they are the present and the future.”
“In light of the great momentum of the founding president of our movement, Chad has devoted more than one-fifth of the state budget to training youth, and therefore our movement must continue to play its role in the development of youth in our country,” she said.
“What we need today to ensure the development of Chad are enterprising men and women with a good cultural and technical background, and brave women and men of good morals and high spirits,” she concluded.
At the conclusion of the work, the conferees chose by acclamation Harun Kabaddi – Speaker of Parliament – as Secretary-General of the party to succeed Muhammad Zain Badi Abbas, and observers considered his election as a reward for his silence and his non-objection to the “Military Council bypassing the constitution in not appointing him as president of the country”, as stipulated in the constitution.
After his election as Secretary-General, Kabaddi thanked the Transitional Military Council, and spoke to the conferees, saying that “the work needs an effective strategic plan in order to continue the political process, as the Chadians experienced turmoil, sorrows and terrorist attacks with the aim of causing disturbances in the public order and spreading chaos.”
In a press conference, Kabaddi said that the new leadership will work on the cohesion and unity of the party and search for the best ways to increase its financial and human resources while ensuring a good management of it.
He denied that there were splits within the party because of this conference, and commented on the absence and objection of the former Secretary-General, saying that he was “a great fighter and his place is preserved within the party.” https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.467.0_en.html#goog_973298723
The absence of the “big man” from the ruling party in Chad revealed deep disparities, disagreements and conflicts that may expand further in the coming period, disputes that were managed by the Field Marshal in several ways, including balances and satisfactions and the use of “carrot and stick policy” sometimes, especially in light of the exclusion of the “old guard.” Who considers himself the owner of the ruling party’s project and worthy of its leadership after the departure of its leader.
Another important sign, which is that the extraordinary conference had its only goal to stabilize the party’s existence and its continuity for fear of fragmentation and the tendency of some of them to think about establishing parties or joining existing ones, and preserving the largest amount of the basic elements while excluding some elements that may not accept consecration in the coming period. Total dominance of the clan of the late Dubai.
As for the exclusion of some of the founding leaders who are described as the “old guard”, it came because of their refusal to hand over the party’s reins to Mohamed Deby, 37, the head of the Transitional Council and son of the late Idriss Deby.