Chad - Junta Names Presidential Runner-Up As Transitional PM

Chadian Parliament (file photo).

Chad's new military rulers have named Albert Pahimi Padacke as prime minister of a transitional government. Opposition politicians have slammed the move.

Chad's new military government on Monday named Albert Pahimi Padacke as interim prime minister.

The announcement comes a week after President Idriss Deby's death in the battlefield, which prompted a military council to seize power in the country.

Opposition politicians have called the military takeover an "institutional coup."

One politician denounced Padacke's nomination, saying the army had no right to install a head of government.

"It is not up to the transitional military council to designate a prime minister in this isolated manner," Yacine Abderamane, president of the opposition Reformist Party, said.

"We want there to be talks between political parties, civil society and other actors in order to reach a consensus," he added.

Padacke served as prime minister from 2016 to 2018, and was considered one of Deby's allies. He had also been the runner-up in Chad's April 11 presidential election.

What is happening in Chad?

On April 19, Deby was killed as he visited troops fighting against the Libya-based Front for Change and Concord (FACT) rebels in Chad.

The president had been declared the winner of the April 11 elections right before he was killed. Padacke came second with 10.3% of the vote.

Deby's death prompted the establishment of the Transitional Military Council (TMC). The council is headed by his son, Mahamat Idriss Deby, a general who previously commanded the elite Republican Guard. Chad's parliament has since been dissolved.

The TMC has said it will manage the 18-month transition to elections under Padacke, whose transitional government members will be nominated or revoked by the new military leader.

Reactions to military takeover

The military is coming under international pressure to give back power as soon as possible.

The African Union has expressed "grave concern" about the military takeover.

France, meanwhile is calling for a civilian-military solution. A day before Padacke's nomination as interim prime minister, the military also pledged to track down leader of the FACT militants Mahamat Mahadi Ali, accusing him of "war crimes."

The junta is seeking help from neighboring Niger to locate Ali.

mvb/dj (AFP, Reuters)

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