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Succès the spoiler

Kaka's co-opted prime minister announces he will also stand in the election

Fears that May's presidential elections will amount to little more than a coronation for military leader Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno 'Kaka' appear to have been confirmed after his recently co-opted Prime Minister Succès Masra announced that he would also stand in the polls.

It completes a remarkable political volte face by Masra less than a year after he brought in Washington DC-based lobby shop, Scribe Strategies, led by Republican operative Joseph Szlavik, to push for sanctions against Kaka's military regime from the United States (AC Vol 64 No 11, Succès on K-Street).

However, following last December's referendum on a new constitution, which Masra urged his supporters to back, the leader of Les Transformateurs accepted an invitation from Kaka to become prime minister. His party is one of the seven authorised to stand in the elections (AC Vol 65 No 2, Mahamat Kaka co-opts Succès in pre-election campaign).

Opposition have criticised the move, saying it's a ploy to give the appearance of pluralism to an election which Kaka is certain to win.

Kaka confirmed his own candidacy for his Coalition pour un Tchad Uni on 2 March just days after his main rival and cousin, Yaya Dillo Djérou, was gunned down in N'Djamena in what his allies call a targeted assassination (Dispatches, 7/3/24, Kaka confirms presidential run three days after opposition leader is shot). The government claims that his death followed a shoot-out. The headquarters of Dillo's party, the Parti Socialiste sans Frontières have since been bulldozed.

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