Politician, Deceased Person
1919 – 2001
Who was Gabriel Lisette?
Of African descent, he was born at Portobelo in Panama on April 2, 1919. He became a French colonial administrator, and in this role was posted to Chad in 1946. In the November of the same year Lisette was elected as deputy to the French National Assembly. In February 1947 he founded the country's first African political party, the Chadian Progressive Party, a radical and nationalist organization calling for self-determination. It was a branch of the Marxist-oriented inter-territorial African Democratic Rally, of which he was to be later chosen as secretary-general.
The PPT was not immediately successful, as it found itself boycotted by the French colonial administration and from the African traditional rulers, who preferred the more conservative Chadian Democratic Union. The situation radically changed with the French Overseas Reform Act of 1956 which greatly expanded the electoral suffrage. Also, the UDT was riven by splits and dissensions; as a result, Lisette triumphantly won the 1957 elections for the Territorial Assembly, taking with his allies 47 seats out of 65.
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