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Chad's soldiers vote early in presidential election

Chad's soldiers are voting early in the presidential election.   -  
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MARCO LONGARI/AFP or licensors -

Chad

The atmosphere is calm in Chad, a day before the presidential election.

In a vote that the opposition called to boycott and which the interior ministry said on Friday it uncovered a plot to assassinate prominent political figures and bomb polling stations and the electoral commission headquarters.

In the capital, Ndjamena, soldiers are present in every corner and crossroads and many of them voted early in the city's four polling stations.

“They come here with their card and present themselves to the electoral office, we give them the ballot they will make their choice for the vote, they come back to put the ballot in the ballot box and then sign their names at the bottom after having soaked the ballot with the ink on their finger and then they go," one officer told Africanews.

It is a vote closely followed by a mission of observers.

Police and water cannon patrols could still be seen parading in opposition stronghold such as in one neighbourhood where the opposition announced rallies in the morning.

On Friday, the last day of the campaign, incumbent Idriss Deby, criticised his opponents and called on the 7.4 million voters to come out early in large numbers for a "knockout" in the first round.

Voters will have to choose between 10 candidates.

Africanews special correspondent Joel Honoré Kouam said from Ndjamena:

“It’s a relatively quiet town in Ndjamena that we visited with heavily militarised thoroughfares, as the opposition announced protest marches against incumbent Idriss Deby’s bid for a sixth term and for tomorrow's election."

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