Chad presidential election: A showdown between President and Prime Minister with high stakes | Elections Updates

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Chadians are preparing to vote in what is anticipated to be the nation’s most significant election in 30 years as they head to the polls on Monday to elect a new president. The elections will signal the end of a transition to democracy by the ruling military government, although some experts believe it may simply solidify the military’s grip on power.

Chad has been grappling with political turmoil since 2021, when interim President Mahamat Idriss Deby assumed power amidst opposition resistance questioning his legitimacy. The violence peaked in February when government forces killed Yaya Dillo, a prominent opposition figure, and his supporters at their party headquarters in the capital, N’Djamena.

In addition to political unrest, Chad faces significant socioeconomic challenges, with a large portion of its population living below the poverty line. The country is also hosting over 500,000 refugees from neighboring Sudan, placing additional strain on resources and raising fears of potential conflict spill-over.

Chad’s military is highly regarded in the region and plays a crucial role in combating armed groups like Boko Haram. The outcome of the elections will not only impact Chad but also several other countries in the region.

The main candidate vying for the presidency is General Mahamat Idriss Deby, who has been serving as the transitional president under the ruling Patriotic Salvation Movement party. His key opponents include Prime Minister Succes Masra and former Prime Minister Albert Pahimi Padacke.

Despite the presence of other candidates, many believe Deby is likely to retain power, given his incumbency advantage. Critics have raised concerns about the fairness of the electoral process, citing the influence of President Deby over key election agencies.

With the economy already struggling and significant challenges ahead, including declining oil production, there are fears that another term for Deby could lead to further economic stagnation and corruption. However, there is optimism that Prime Minister Masra, with his background in economics, could bring positive changes to the country’s education and healthcare sectors.

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