Chad’s President Deby emerges victorious in tough race against prime minister | Latest Elections Update

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The provisional vote tally in Chad was marred by violence and accusations of election-rigging, despite military leader Mahamat Idriss Deby winning the presidential election with over 61 percent of the vote. His victory eliminates the need for a runoff with Prime Minister Succes Masra, his closest rival.

Deby, the incumbent, rose to power after his father, President Idriss Deby, was killed in April 2021. However, Masra has refused to accept the election results, claiming they were rigged by Deby and government officials to maintain power.

Critics have accused the Deby family of stifling opposition and influencing election outcomes. The run-up to the May 6 election was marked by violence, including the killing of opposition figure Yaya Dillo and the disqualification of other candidates over alleged irregularities.

Despite these challenges, Chad is seen as the first military-led country in the Sahel region to hold a democratic election. Deby’s government had initially pledged to hold free and fair elections within 18 months of taking office in 2021, but the transition period was extended until 2024, allowing him to run for re-election under a new constitution.

In the aftermath of Thursday’s announcement, security forces were deployed in the capital city of N’Djamena to prevent any potential unrest. The outcome of the election has raised concerns about the country’s democratic process and credibility, amid a backdrop of military coups in neighboring Sahel countries.

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