N’djamena – Opposition parties in Chad Friday cried foul after President Idriss Deby postponed parliamentary elections by more than two years for “budgetary reasons.”
“Parliament has exceeded its mandate, and its possible continuation until 2019 should be the result of an open political debate,” said Brice Mbaimon Guedmbaye, spokesman of the Coalition of the Democratic Opposition for Alternation and Change in Chad (Codac), an umbrella body of 29 political parties.
Deby’s decision “does not correspond with the wishes of Chadians,” Guedmbaye told dpa.
The president does not have the authority to make such a decision unilaterally, added the leader of opposition party National Union for Democracy and Renewal (UNDR), Saleh Kebzabo.
The outcry comes after Deby told journalists late on Thursday that holding parliamentary elections would cost 54 billion CFA (88 million dollars), a sum the poverty-stricken central African nation could currently not afford to spend.
“Due to the economic crisis, notably the fall in oil prices, we will not hold parliamentary elections,” Deby said.
Chad was due to hold legislative elections before the end of 2016, but government never set a date.