After the death of President of Chad Idriss Déby on 19 April, the military, under the leadership of his son, General Kaka, will lead the country. Key opposition parties say this is an “institutional coup.”
Déby, 68, had been in control for over three decades when he was shot in the frontline while fighting rebels.
The rebels have also expressed their displeasure with the move, claiming that “Chad is not a monarchy.”
General Kaka, in command of the presidential guard, will lead the country for the next 18 months before the elections. He served in the Chadian army as a general and for several years headed the Direction Générale des Services de Sécurité des Institutions de l’Etat (DGSSIE), which includes the presidential guard. His new role as President of the Transitional Council will make the 37-year-old man the youngest head of state on the continent.
The government and parliament have been dissolved, but constitutional scholars agree that when a sitting president dies before elections, the speaker of parliament should take over.
Déby’s death was announced on state television on Tuesday, a day after preliminary election results suggested he would win a sixth term as president of the oil-rich country that has led regional efforts to combat Islamist militants.
There are concerns that the death will spark political unrest in the vast semi-arid country, which has a long history of rebellions and coup attempts and weak and divided opposition.
A coalition of trade unions has joined the opposition to the formation of the Transitional Military Council, calling for mediation and workers to remain at home until a solution is found. Meanwhile, the constitution has been suspended.