Chad’s Presidential Election: A Bloody Transition

  • Chadians began voting for a president on Monday, aiming to end military rule but dismissed by opponents as a fix following violent repression. 
  • Voters will choose whether to extend decades of Deby family rule in one of the world’s poorest countries, a crucial territory in the fight against jihadism across the Sahel desert region. 
  • Deby’s transitional Prime Minister, Succes Masra, has vowed to win without a run-off, promising a “knockout in the first round.” 
  • International human rights groups have warned the election will not be free or fair as Deby’s main rival has been killed and others banned from standing. 
  • The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the International Crisis Group (ICG) have noted “increasing human rights violations” in the country, including Dillo’s killing. 
  • The International Crisis Group cited measures that allow officials to publish only regional tallies of votes rather than posting the results at individual polling stations, making it impossible for observers to verify the vote count. 
  • The International Crisis Group also cited the decision by Chad’s Constitutional Council to exclude 10 rival candidates from the vote in Deby strongholds. 
  • A significant proportion of his constituency now considers him to have become a stooge of those in power, though some analysts have said Masra may be genuinely aiming to become president. 
  • Voting stations across Chad’s vast largely desert territory will open from 6:00 am (0500 GMT) to 5:00 pm (1600 GMT).
Posted in Current Affairs.