Chad’s President Deby Wins Election against Prime Minister in Heated Race

Military leader Mahamat Idriss Deby has won a closely watched presidential election in the country of Chad, according to provisional results released by its National Election Management Agency.

Deby secured more than 61 percent of the vote, according to the numbers released on Thursday, eliminating the need for a runoff with his closest rival, Prime Minister Succes Masra, who received 18.5 percent.

The victory allows Deby, the incumbent, to hold onto the presidency with a voter mandate.

Previously, he led the country as its interim president, seizing power after his father, the late President Idriss Deby, was killed in April 2021 while fighting a rebel group in the north of the country.

But his rival in the presidential race, Masra, has already indicated he will not accept the election results.

Earlier on Thursday, Masra issued a live broadcast on Facebook declaring himself the winner. He also accused Deby and other government officials of rigging the election results to hold onto power.

“A small number of individuals believe they can make people believe that the election was won by the same system that has been ruling Chad for decades,” Masra said.

Deby’s father had led the country for more than 30 years, from 1990 to 2021, when he was shot to death shortly after his sixth presidential victory.

Critics have accused both him and now his son, the current President Deby, of stifling the opposition to maintain their grip on power.

They have also pointed to circumstances leading up to the May 6 presidential vote that could have swayed its outcome.

For instance, one of the leading opposition figures, Deby’s cousin Yaya Dillo, was killed when security forces engaged in a shootout at his party headquarters.

Other opposition figures have been barred from running over “irregularities” in their applications to campaign.

On Thursday, Masra called on his supporters and security forces to back his claim to the presidency and reject the election agency’s results.

Thursday’s results came earlier than expected, as the provisional results were originally thought to arrive on May 21.

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Comfort Samuel

I work with TV360 Nigeria, as a broadcast journalist, producer and reporter. I'm so passionate on what I do.

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