Chad’s opposition unite against Déby Itno

The main opposition parties in Chad said on Tuesday they would join forces to present a united front against President Idriss Déby Itno’s Patriotic Salvation Movement in Parliament.

“The political parties of the opposition represented in the National Assembly have agreed to form a united front … in this assembly,” their spokesperson Brice Mbzimon said the day after Parliament reconvened for its current sitting.

The parties “will form a consistent opposition against the MPS and its government,” said Mbzimon, who leads the Movement of Chad Patriots for the Republic.

Other members of the front include the National Union for Democracy and Renewal, the Union for Renewal and Democracy, the Alliance for Democracy and the Party for Liberty and Demoracy of Ibni Oumar Mahamat Saleh, who disappeared after his arrest by Chad security forces in February 2008.

The president’s MPS commands an absolute majority of 117 out of 188 seats in Chad’s Parliament.

Opposition parties boycotted parliamentary elections in February and a presidential poll in April, and refused to recognise the outcome, claiming fraud.

Déby has headed Chad, one of the world’s poorest countries despite growing oil exports and abundant uranium and gold, since ousting dictator Hissene Habre in a 1990 coup. — Sapa-AFP

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