According to the constitution of 1962, Chad was an indivisible, secular, democratic, and social republic with a president and National Assembly. One-party rule was established and presidential elections were held on 15 June 1969, the first by universal suffrage. An official announcement on 16 June stated that President Tombalbaye, being the only candidate, had been reelected for a further seven years by 93% of the voters.
The National Assembly was dissolved after the coup of 13 April 1975 that ousted Tombalbaye. A provisional constitution, which came into force 16 August 1975, was abolished on 23 March 1979, when President Malloum fled. In October 1982, a National Consultative Council was formed, with two representatives from each prefecture and two from N'Djamena. This body was to draft a new constitution by 1990, but it was replaced in the Déby coup on 1 December 1990.
The three-month-long national conference in early 1993 established a new transitional government with a 57-member higher transitional council (elected by the 254 conference delegates) and a transitional charter.
Work on a new draft constitution began near the end of 1993, and a provisional document was drafted and made public in 1994. The constitution, approved in a March 1996 referendum, mandates a directly elected president serving a five-year term, a bicameral legislature, and a constitutional court. The 1996 presidential election under this constitution returned Idriss Déby to the presidency, and 1997 legislative elections brought an absolute majority to Déby's MPS party, with three opposition parties sharing the remaining 62 seats. Déby was reelected in May 2001, and his MPS party won an overwhelming majority in the April 2002 elections for the National Assembly. As of early 2003, a Senate, provided for in the constitution, had not yet been created; however, members are to serve six-year terms. Members of the National Assembly are elected for four-year terms in 25 single-member and 34 multi-member constituencies.