French Equatorial Africa was dissolved on 28th September 1958, following a referendum, and four states were created: Central African Republic, Chad, Congo (Brazzaville) and Gabon. All four countries became members of the French Community on 28th November 1958 and on 11th August 1960 Chad became an independent state.
Previously, in May 1959 there had been elections in which François Tombalbaye became the first president with the Chadian Progressive Party (PPT) as the ruling party. Tombalbaye’s regime became increasingly authoritarian and in 1962 he banned all political parties except for the PPT.
In 1963 there were protests which were suppressed and in 1966 the National Liberation Front of Chad (FROLINAT) was founded to oust President Tombalbaye.
On 13th April 1975 Tombalbaye was killed in a successful coup and General Félix Malloum became the Chairman of the new junta. Following further deterioration the Lagos Accord was signed in 1979 and a transitional government was formed in the November. General Malloum was replaced by Goukouni Oueddei who became President.
By 1982 Goukouni Oueddei had been ousted and Hissène Habré was installed as President of a divided Chad. Habré’s regime was, by all accounts brutal in its suppression of opponents and lasted until he was ousted in December 1990.
General Idriss Déby took control and, after three months of a provisional government, Déby’s Patriotic Salvation Movement (MPS) approved a national charter in February 1991 with Déby as President. The concept of multi-partyism was adopted at this stage.
In 1994 the International Court of Justice granted Chad sovereignty over the Aouzou strip (border with Libya) ending the long term Libyan occupation of the north and Chad was once more united.
In 1996 a new constitution was adopted and elections were held. These elections were won by General Idriss Déby. In 1997 Déby’s Patriotic Salvation Movement (MPS) also won the general election, taking 63 of the 125 seats.
In the 2001 presidential and 2002 general elections Déby and the MPS won again. Déby took 63% of the vote in what was described as a ‘flawed’ election and the MPS took 110 of the 155 seats in the National Assembly.
In 2004 Presidential term limits were abolished leaving Idriss Déby to stand again and in 2006 he was returned in the first round of voting with 64.67% of the vote. This election was widely boycotted by the opposition.
Following continued opposition and international pressure the N’Djamena Accord was signed in which it was hoped to bring electoral reforms.
Although a general election was due to take place in 2006. This was then delayed to 2007 and eventually to take place on 28th November 2010. The election will now take place on 13th February 2011. A presidential election will take place on 8th May 2011 after being postponed from 23rd April 2011.
The President serves for a five year term. If no candidate gets at least 50% of the vote then a second round is held between the two candidates receiving the most votes.
The National Assembly has 155 members elected for four years in 25 single member constituencies and 34 multi member constituencies. Although the Parliament is a bicameral body in theory, the Senate has never been created.
The Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2016 places Chad at joint 159th out of 176 countries with a CPI 2016 score of 20 (where 100 is least corrupt).