Parliamentary Chamber: Assemblée nationale


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  Assemblée nationale

Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  5 January 1997
23 February 1997

Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all the seats of the new National Assembly provided for in the March 1996 Constitution.

Background and outcome of elections:

  General elections had last been held in July 1990, when a 123-member National Assembly was chosen for a five-year term. Five months later, however, this legislature was dissolved in the wake of the coup d'Etat led by military commander Idriss Deby. Inaugurated as President of the Republic in March 1991, Col. Deby subsequently announced that a new multiparty Assembly would be convened after the holding of a national constitutional referendum.

A Transitional Charter, which took effect in April 1993 for a period of one year, established a 57-member interim legislature known as the Higher Transitional Council (CST). This body's mandate was extended twice in parallel with the prolongation of the transitional period. In March 1996, a new Constitution providing, inter alia, for a bicameral Parliament was approved by popular referendum. The CST continued to sit until election of this new legislature. The polling date was set and postponed several times in 1996 before finally taking place in early 1997. In the meantime, President Deby continued in office, having been returned in July 1996.

Altogether 656 candidates and 30 parties contested the 125 National Assembly seats. The ruling Patriotic Salvation Movement (MPS) - leading member of the multi-party Republican Front Coalition - competed in every constituency. The first round of voting on 5 January produced 64 winners, 44 of these belonging to the MPS. Second round results gave the MPS a grand total of 55 seats; this outcome was contested by leading opposition candidates, who charged serious irregularities in the polling procedure. Many voters abstained from this second ballot, apparently assuming that the MPS - already far ahead in the first round - was assured of victory.

Final results were officially announced on 21 March 1997. With the backing of 15 Deputies from the National Union for Democracy and Renewal (UNDR), with which it had concluded an election pact, the MPS secured an absolute majority by controlling a total of 78 seats. The opposition was led by the Union for Renewal and Democracy (URD), led by Mr. Abdelkader Wadal Kamougue, which captured 29 seats.

The newly elected Parliament held its inaugural session on 4 April. The composition of the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Nassour Ouaidou Guelendouksia was announced on 21 May.

Round no 1 (5 January 1997): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 3,200,000
Voters 48.5%

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total
Patriotic Salvation Movement (MPS) 65
Union for Renewal and Democracy (URD) 29
National Union for Democracy and Renewal (UNDR) 15
Union for Democracy and the Republic (UDR) 4
Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) 3
Party for Freedom and Development (PLD) 3
National Action for Development (AND) 2
Action for Unity and Socialism (ACTUS) 2
National Convention for Social Democracy (CNDS) 1
Front of Action Forces for the Republic (FAR) 1

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 122
Women: 3
Percent of women: 2.40

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Copyright © 1997 Inter-Parliamentary Union