Chad’s parliament on Monday overwhelmingly approved a new constitution that expands President Idriss Deby’s powers and could allow him to stay in office until 2033, however it was a vote boycotted by most opposition lawmakers.
According to Deby’s opponents, the constitution which eliminates the post of prime minister and creates a fully presidential system is aimed at installing a de facto monarchy in Chad, an ally of Western nations fighting jihadist groups in West Africa.
The new constitution – approved by a vote of 132 to two – introduces six-year rather than five-year presidential terms. That would mean President Deby could stay in power until 2033, when he will be at least 80.
He first came to power in a rebellion in 1990 and has recently faced strikes and protests due to budget shortfalls caused by low prices for Chad’s chief export, oil.
The constitution now heads to Deby for his signature.