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Chad referendum campaign divides political classes

Chad referendum campaign   -  
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Launched on November 25, Chad's referendum campaign is dividing the political class, as voters prepare to decide on a new constitution.

Chad's eight million registered voters will be called to place their votes on December 17, after twenty days of campaigning by both sides. 

Most opposition parties are calling for a boycott of the vote, saying the outcome is a "foregone conclusion". 

Those calling for a "no" vote are in favour of the country's transition to a federal state, saying that a federation could help the territories develop autonomously.

"We believe this is the form best suited to Chad, given the vastness of the country and its cultural, social and economic diversity," says Brice Mbaïmong, Coordinator of the Front for the No vote in the referendum. "We believe that this is the form of State that will promote good administration and the economic development of our country."

For those calling on citizens to vote "yes", Chad should be a decentralised unitary state, arguing that a federation could further divide the country

However, the referendum has been criticised by the opposition, NGOs and political parties. 

"We need to restart the process because it is not in line with the national dialogue, which actually provided for two referenda or two votes by the electorate," says political analystYamingué Bétinbaye. "A first vote to decide on the form of the State, between the unitary form and the federal form, and a second vote to validate or invalidate the draft Constitution that will be submitted on the basis of the form of State chosen".

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