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Cablegate: Chadian Opposition Parties Complain Goc Not

VZCZCXRO5598
PP RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHNJ #0517/01 3121129
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 071129Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY NDJAMENA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6564
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 1022

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 NDJAMENA 000517

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

LONDON AND PARIS FOR AFRICA WATCHERS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREF EU FR AU UN CD
SUBJECT: CHADIAN OPPOSITION PARTIES COMPLAIN GOC NOT
IMPLEMENTING AUGUST 13TH ACCORD

REF: A. NDJAMENA 000510
B. 07 NDJAMENA 675


-----------
SUMMARY
-----------

1. (SBU) The main association of Chadian opposition
parties, the CPDC, complained to the Ambassador that the GoC
is not implementing the August 13 Accord (the electoral
reform agreement signed in August 2007) in good faith, and
that therefore credible elections could not be held in 2009.
They made a pitch for the international community to pressure
the Government to honor its agreements in order to avoid
further conflict. The Ambassador promised to consult with
other like-minded countries to see what might be done. The
opposition representatives also expressed dissatisfaction
with the results of the commission set up to investigate the
aftermath of the February 2008 rebel attack on N,Djamena,
and the death of CPDC leader Ibni Saleh.

2. (SBU) We agree that the CPDC,s concerns are real and
that lack of political will on the part of the ruling party
and the Deby Regime are retarding progress on the electoral
process. But EU Ambassador Desesquelles, the architect of
the August 13 Accord and the prime mover behind the electoral
reform process, believes that credible elections are still
possible in 2009 or early 2010 (Ref A). We will continue to
consult with the EU and other supporters of the democratic
transition in Chad to see how we can impress on the GoC how
important credible elections are to the international
community represented in Chad. END SUMMARY.

3. (SBU) Salibou Garba, the Acting Spokesman for the main
association of opposition parties, the CPDC (Coordination des
Partis politique pour la Defense de la Constitution),
called on the Ambassador on November 3 to complain that the
GoC is not implementing the August 13 Accord (the electoral
reform agreement signed in August 2007) in good faith. Garba
was accompanied by Ganghnon Mbaimbal, Deputy Spokesman of the
CPDC,s Comite de Liaison. Although Garba is also the
Spokesman for the Comite de Suivi (Implementation Committee),
he was clearly coming in his role as CPDC Spokesman. A/DCM
and A/PolOff sat in on the meeting.

----------------------------------------
ALL SEVEN DRAFT LAWS STUCK IN CABINET
----------------------------------------

4. (SBU) Garba said none of the seven draft laws produced by
the Comite de Suivi (Implementation Committee) have been sent
to the National Assembly for approval. Most importantly, the
two draft laws that are key to holding democratic elections
) those dealing with the electoral commission and the
electoral code ) are still stuck in the Council of
Ministers, although they were agreed by the Comite de Suivi
(in which both the ruling party (MPS) and the GoC have
representation) in January 2008. Garba said the GoC wants to
modify the drafts in ways that contradict the August 13
Accord, and are therefore unacceptable to the opposition.
Referring disparagingly to the appointment of a new cabinet
under Prime Minister Youssuff Saleh Abbas in April of this
year, which was supposed to bring good governance, Garba
noted that in five months the GoC has not been able to
finalize a draft.

--------------------------------------------- --
REFORM IS A PROCESS, BUT PROGESS IS ESSENTIAL
--------------------------------------------- --

5. (SBU) Garba noted that the August 13 Accord envisioned
holding legislative elections in 2009, but that is no longer
feasible in his view. The CPDC understands that reform is a
process, and that it might take a few years, but there must
be progress -- which the opposition doesn,t see. He went on
to say that good elections would require not only the right
laws, but also the right environment; they could not be held
in the current militarized atmosphere. The opposition does
not believe elections should be held just for the sake of
holding them.

6. (SBU) Garba said there was no news on the census; UNFPA
might finish the overall enumeration in 2009. He went on to
underscore the importance of the census for the holding of
fair elections, asserting that statisticians place the number
of eligible voters between three and three and a half
million, while the GoC estimate is close to six million.

NDJAMENA 00000517 002 OF 002


(NOTE: In the 2006 presidential election, the GoC claimed
the electorate comprised 5.8 million voters.)

-------------------------------------------
RESULTS OF COMMISSION D,ENQUETE UNSATISFACTORY
-------------------------------------------

7. (SBU) The secondary issue the CPDC raised was its
dissatisfaction with the Commission d'Enquete (Commission of
Inquiry) to investigate the aftermath of the February 2008
rebel attacks, and especially the disappearance of opposition
coalition spokesman, Ibni Oumar Mahamat Saleh, now presumed
dead. Garba repeated the opposition,s demand for the return
of Ibni,s body to his family for a proper burial, and for
answers. &We have a right to know who did what,8 he said.
The opposition was dissatisfied with the Commission
d,Enquete, as well as the follow-up mechanism controlled by
the Presidency, which could not even trace the vehicle in
which Ibni disappeared, although people identified the car
that took him away. Broadening the scope of his complaint,
Garba added that war crimes and rape are difficult to accept.


8. (SBU) Salibou advised the Ambassador that the CPDC was
going to the international community (he had already called
on the EU, French and AU Ambassadors, and the UNDP Res Rep),
rather than to the press, noting that the opposition parties
had only entered into dialogue with the GoC due to the
involvement of the international community. Support was
needed now more than ever to get the process back on track.


9. (SBU) A/DCM asked about allies within the current
Government, but Garba dismissed them (including the President
of the National Assembly and the Prime Minister), saying that
even if their hearts are in the right place, they cannot do
anything, as the GoC is a one-man show. Unless President
Deby wants something done, it will not be done.

10. (SBU) At that point, Garba,s companion, Mbaimbal, who
had seemed disengaged until then, came to life. &People have
lost confidence in Chadian democracy, which is why the rebels
exist. When they changed the Constitution, people got
discouraged.8 Citing the Government,s reneging on its
agreement with the World Bank as evidence that the GoC cannot
be trusted, Mbaimbal emphasized that the opposition wants the
international community &with us8 in the Comite de Suivi.
(NOTE: the international community participates in the
Comite de Suivi as observers.) If the GoC doesn,t honor its
agreements, war will come, Mbaimbal warned.

11. (SBU) Garba asserted that the Sirte agreement is a step
backward, in that it bought off individuals and held no hope
for widespread inclusion in the political process, and that
the Dakar Agreement (March 2008) is now dead.

-----------
COMMENT
-----------

12. (SBU) We agree that the CPDC,s concerns are real and
that lack of political will on the part of the ruling party
and the Deby Regime are retarding progress on the electoral
process. But EU Ambassador Desesquelles, the architect of
the August 13 Accord and the prime mover behind the electoral
reform process, believes that credible elections are still
possible in 2009 or early 2010 (Ref A). We will continue to
consult with the EU and other supporters of the democratic
transition in Chad to see how we can impress on the GoC how
important credible elections are to the international
community represented in Chad.
NIGRO

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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