Dialogue in Chad – Internal Regulations declared accepted by “consensus” despite protest

Around 8:30 last night after a day and a half of intense debates, Acheikh Ibni Oumar, Minister of Reconciliation, stood up and announced that the internal regulations had been adopted. While some protested, others applauded, but it seemed to have no effect on the decision. No vote was taken and in the end, the transitional government took charge and simply decided for the participants of the Dialogue, ostensibly to allow the work to continue. Ironically, the debates preceding this decision were directly related to the decision making process.

We have decided and that should satisfy you.

Acheikh Ibni Oumar, Minister of Reconciliation and Chairman of the organizing committee for the dialogue.

One of the first preoccupations of the participants in the Dialogue was to clarify the responsibilities and rights of CODNI, the committee that organized the Dialogue. Many in the opposition group felt that CODNI’s responsibility was over and that the participants should be able to decide how the Dialogue proceeded. Apparently CODNI was not ready to give up their position and succeeded in remaining in charge. Interesting to note that Acheikh Ibni Oumar is also the chairman of CODNI.

Voting by a show of hands does not guarantee full respect for freedoms. It is not part of public freedoms. Only voting by secret ballot is truly democratic.

Mahamat Nour Ibedou

The second major debate centered on the way decisions should be made. The position of the organizers of the event was that decisions should be made by consensus and failing that, a vote by show of hands. Many participants had memories of past forums when “consensus” ended up being something completely different from what the participants had decided. They also felt that the show of hands was not the best way to vote, and preferred a secret ballot.

Organizing a vote for 1,500 people is a cumbersome mechanism that will take time. It would take several weeks, not to mention the risk of disputes.

Ahmat Bedeï Toullomi, Transitional Councilor

The transitional government was obviously opposed to any system of voting other than a show of hands. Ahmat Bedeï Toullomi, a councilor for the transition, stated that it would simply take too much time and be too difficult to use secret ballots. Regardless of the reasons, they were able to simply declare the rules accepted without a consensus or a vote. Work will resume today at 10AM, the order of the day is the selection and installation of a presidium.

George Adams

George Adams is a journalist and editor at Heartbeat Africa News. If you have breaking news, let him know at GeorgeAdams@heartbeatafrica.news

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