A myriad of colors and choices

2024 chad blog election myriad colors eisa transparent democratic governance in africa

From April 14th to May 4th, 2024, the political landscape of Chad was imbued with an unprecedented electoral fervor. In a captivating political ballet, the ten candidates competing for presidency showcased ingenuity to offer an unforgettable experience to Chadians, each seeking to allure the electorate and leave a mark on this transitional presidential campaign.

2024 chad blog election myriad colors eisa0 transparent democratic governance in africa

From the onset, a jovial atmosphere permeated the scene, marked by fair play and camaraderie. The first week of the campaign served as a true celebration of democracy, where the diversity of candidates gave rise to a politically vibrant spectacle. Among these candidates, two figures emerged prominently: Succès Masra and Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, known as MIDI.

Succès Masra was among the candidates who initiated an early campaign in N’Djamena, and extended his influence throughout the country, often shadowing MIDI. MIDI, the pilot, was the first to embark on a tour in major cities, closely followed by his competitor . While MIDI emphasized unity, security, and loyalty to promises made, Masra spoke of justice and equality, urging voters to grant him the pilot’s seat. Through the metaphor of travel, Masra promised that all passengers aboard the plane he would pilot would be treated as VIPs, traveling in the comfort of business class, symbolizing his commitment to equality. Through this imagery the candidate illustrated his vision of leadership, marked by particular attention to inclusion and the well-being of all. From the North to the South, from the East to the West, Masra’s entourage advanced, selling the hope of a prosperous and equitable Chad for all.

The participation of the two heads of the executive was initially perceived as an arrangement, a continuation of the Kinshasa deal, but over time, things evolved on the ground. While MIDI was supported by a multitude of support offices, each working with its color, slogan, and a rivalry more than unity, Succès Masra advanced his pieces with a simple and clear message encapsulated in his name: “Masra for Chad’s Success.” With this impactful message, the underdog began to draw crowds. His strategy was simple: he followed in MIDI’s footsteps, allowing the pilot to develop his arguments, then skillfully deconstructed them upon arrival. The massive adherence of the population to this campaign strategy raised the stakes, and the two leading candidates began to exchange serious jabs, prompting the National Electoral Management Agency (ANGE) to intervene and call for restraint.

2024 chad blog election myriad colors eisa1 transparent democratic governance in africa
2024 chad blog election myriad colors eisa transparent democratic governance in africa

Of course, the campaign had its ups and downs. At times, certain candidates found themselves halted in their tracks to give precedence to MIDI, as the president of the transition; and some voters even sabotaged scaffolds and tore down MIDI’s posters. However, the campaign concluded on May 4th without any major incidents to cast doubt on the thesis of a continuation of the Kinshasa deal.

This blog post was made possible by the financial support of the European Union under the Grant Agreement No. NDICI AFRICA/2022/435-927. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of EU.