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14 May, 2024 13:23

Chad opposition challenges military ruler’s presidential victory

The Sahel nation’s interim leader, Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, has been named the winner of last week’s election
Chad opposition challenges military ruler’s presidential victory

Chadian opposition candidate Succes Masra has filed an appeal with the Central African nation’s constitutional council, challenging the outcome of the presidential elections held on May 6.

The Transformers party leader announced the move in a Facebook post on Sunday, three days after the National Electoral Management Agency (ANGE) declared military ruler Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, also known as Mahamat Kaka, the winner of the vote.

According to preliminary results released on Thursday, Mahamat Kaka obtained 61.03% of the vote, while Masra came in second with 18.53%. The election had a 75.9% turnout.

Masra, who has served as prime minister in the transitional government since January, had alleged electoral fraud and claimed victory prior to the results being declared.

“Helped by our lawyers, we submitted a request to the Constitutional Council to reveal the truth of the ballot boxes,” the politician wrote on Sunday, also submitting a document confirming the legal appeal had been filed, but without giving further details.

However, in a news summary published on its website on Monday, the Chadian Presidency said the Transformers party has asked the electoral court to cancel the vote.

The government additionally confirmed that Yacine Abderamane Sakine and Pahimi Padacke Albert, two of Mahamat Kaka’s nine opponents, had filed separate appeals alleging “blatant irregularities” and “serious violations of electoral law” during last week’s balloting. Both politicians had previously congratulated the president on his victory.

Tensions began rising in the landlocked state following the vote, with Masra’s party denouncing “threats and intimidation” against him. On Sunday, the coalition claimed that authorities had detained 76 of its supporters.

The transitional president has ruled Chad since 2021, when his long-ruling father, Idriss Deby Itno, was killed fighting rebels. He initially promised to hold elections within 18 months. However, in 2022, the military regime extended the deadline for two years, until October 2024, sparking protests that killed dozens of civilians.

The former French colony adopted a new constitution following a referendum in December that allowed Mahamat Kaka to run for president.

He has pledged to promote fair, equitable, and effective governance for the Sahel nation’s development.