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Chad's interim president the favourite as the country goes to the polls

Interim President of Chad, Mahamat Idriss Deby   -  
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Mikhail Metzel/Copyright 2024 Sputnik


As Chad goes to the polls on Monday, it is widely believed that incumbent President General Mahamat Idriss Deby will win easily.

He seized power three years ago after his father, Idriss Déby Itno, was killed, apparently on the battlefield fighting rebels trying to overthrow his government.

Deby senior had ruled Chad with an iron fist for three decades.

A career soldier, the new president promised to hold elections within 18 months, but his government postponed the poll and allowed him to run for president.

It has said the election will return the country to constitutional rule, but opposition groups say they have no doubt the poll will be rigged.

Deby is backed by the ruling Patriotic Salvation Movement (MPS) party.

Main opposition contenders

Success Masra is one of Deby’s main challengers.

He has run a grassroots campaign promising access to electricity, water, and security for all.

Masra says he and his supporters will not be intimidated into stopping the fight for the rule of democracy in Chad.

But, once a fierce Deby opponent living in exile, he is now seen by many as a sellout after he joined the interim government as prime minister.

The only other serious opposition contender is former prime minister Albert Pahimi Padacke, who was seen as an ally of Deby senior.

He did however run against him several times, winning 10 per cent of the presidential vote in 2021.

Padacke has promised to bolster security and reform the justice system.

Chad is the first in a string of countries in the region which experienced coups in the past four years, to hold elections.

Some opposition and civil society groups have intensified their campaign for a total boycott of the poll.

The results are expected on 21 May, with the possible second round to be held on 22 June.

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