Chadian Progressive Party
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|Chadian Progressive Party
Parti progressiste Tchadien
|International affiliation||African Democratic Rally|
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The Chadian Progressive Party (Parti Progressiste Tchadien or PPT) was the first African political party created in Chad, active from 1947 to 1973. It was a regional branch of the African Democratic Rally (RDA).
Founded in February 1947 by Gabriel Lisette, a black colonial administrator born in Panama, it at first attracted mainly the country's non-Muslim intellectuals; politically it was much more radical and nationalistic than its main rival, the Muslim-dominated Chadian Democratic Union (UDT). This was revealed by its motto: "Enough with cotton! Enough with taxes! Enough with chiefs!" (Plus de coton! Plus d’impôts! Plus de chefs!). Originally much weaker than the UDT, with the 1956 electoral reforms that expanded the pool of eligible voters, the power started to pass to the Christian and Animist south where the PPT had most of its support. As a result the PPT triumphed in the 1957 elections for the Territorial Assembly, obtaining 32 seats out of 65, 47 with its allies. Gabriel Lisette, first President of the Provisional Government, stepped down in March 1959 so that a Chadian be head of the government and the party, and the choice fell on François Tombalbaye, who had just been made secretary-general of the PPT. The latter led the party in the May 1959 elections, yet another landslide for the PPT that took 57 seats out of 85. In 1960, a few weeks before independence and the assumption of the presidency, Tombalbaye exiled Lisette, so eliminating a dangerous rival; from that moment nobody dared contest him in the party, that was declared the country's sole legal party in 1962. Tombalbaye renamed his party in 1973, calling it National Movement for the Cultural and Social Revolution, that survived only two years, as the Chadian coup of 1975 overthrew Tombalbaye and brought in a new government that immediately banished the party.
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