Chad Considers Changes That Could Extend President’s Rule to 2033

Idriss Deby, right, in Paris on Dec. 12, 2017.

Photographer: Christophe Morin/Bloomberg

A constitutional forum in Chad backed a referendum on extending presidential terms and scrapping the post of prime minister, moves that could enable Idriss Deby to extend his almost three-decade rule over the oil-rich African country until 2033.

Changing the presidential mandate to six years from five, setting a two-term limit and allowing lawmakers to serve five years rather than four were the main proposals backed by Chadian political parties, civil-society groups, traditional chiefs and religious leaders after eight days of discussions.

A referendum on the suggested amendments would have to be held before 2021, with Deby able to run for the presidency again under the new rules. A former army commander who took power in 1990, he won a fifth term in 2016.

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