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Chad holds presidential poll — first after three years of military rule

Chad holds presidential poll — first after three years of military rule
May 06
17:10 2024

Chadians on Monday voted in the first presidential election held in the country three years after a military coup toppled its previous government.

Ten candidates are contesting the presidential race which is dominated by two frontrunners — Mahamat Idriss Déby, who is currently serving as transitional president, and Succès Masra, the incumbent prime minister.

The election is taking place in a tense political climate in the Sahel country following the death of Yaya Dillo, one of the main opponents and cousin to Déby.

Dillo was killed in a raid on his campaign headquarters hours after the transitional government announced the presidential election would be held.

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The polls are also taking place against the backdrop of restricted freedom of expression, with several media outlets suspended in the build-up to the election.

Analysts say Deby is most likely to win, although Masra pulled in larger-than-expected crowds on the campaign trail.

The transitional president, who voted early on Monday in the capital N’Djamena, has promised to increase security, strengthen the rule of law, and increase electricity production.

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The vote also comes amid a temporary withdrawal of US troops from Chad, an important Western ally in a region troubled by Islamist insurgency and courted by Russia.

Provisional results are expected by May 21 and the outcome by June 5.

If no candidate wins more than 50 percent of the votes, a run-off will be held on June 22.

Some opposition members and civil society groups have called for a boycott, citing concerns about possible vote-rigging and raising fears of potential violence.

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Deby had promised to return the country to civilian rule but delayed it for over two years.

The election is expected to mark the end of a political transition in Chad.

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