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Chad: Supporters of Mahamat Deby take to the streets in celebration of electoral win

N'djamena   -  
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Supporters of incumbent Chadian president, General Mahamat Deby Itno took to the streets of the capital late on Thursday after the country’s electoral commission declared him victorious in the first round of voting with nearly two-thirds of the vote, something that the opposition has decried as false.

Supporters flocked to the presidential palace perimeters and were joined in celebration by soldiers stationed in the area to safeguard the nation’s military leader.

Adam, who introduced himself to the AP as a coordinator for the Mahamat Deby supporters' but did not give his last name said they “knew we were going to win, we won and now we're going to get ready for the big party. This is just not enough.”

The national agency that manages Chad’s election released results of Monday's vote weeks earlier than planned.

The figures showed Deby Itno won with just over 61% of the vote, with the runner-up Succès Masra falling far behind with over 18.5% of the vote.

Hours ahead of Thursday’s announcement, Masra published a speech on Facebook accusing the authorities of planning to manipulate the outcome. During the 11 minute speech, Masra appeared in a blue suit at a podium with the national flag in the background and claimed victory, saying the incumbent was planning to reverse the outcome of the vote.

He called on Chad’s military, police and other security forces to stop following Deby’s orders.

Chad is seen by the U.S. and France as one of the last remaining stable allies in the vast Sahel region following military coups in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger in recent years. The ruling juntas in all three nations have expelled French forces and turned to Russia’s mercenary units for security assistance instead.

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