Chad’s Interim Leader Confirms Candidacy In Presidential Poll

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Chad’s interim president, Mahamat Idriss Déby, has said that he will contest in this year’s presidential election.

His candidacy was endorsed by representatives of the political groups that make up his coalition, For a United Chad, which claims to include over 200 parties.

“After deep and serene reflection, I have decided to accept the choice you have made to name me as the candidate of the For a United Chad coalition,” he said.

The military leader’s announcement comes just three days after his main rival in the polls, Yaya Dillo, was shot and killed in the capital N’Djamena in suspicious circumstances.

Déby seized power in 2021 following the death of his long-ruling father, Idriss Déby Itno, who was killed in clashes with rebels.

He was sworn in 2022, promising a return to civilian rule within 18 months, but subsequently extended the transition by two years.

“I confess that I did not see myself as a candidate because my main concern was to bring this transition to a successful conclusion in peace and stability in a united and reconciled Chad,” he said on Saturday.

Déby is almost certain to win the vote on 6 May.

While the social and political context remains tense, the Internet is back online after 48 hours of blackouts.

The capital is under heavy surveillance, with the army and government warning they will take strong action against those who threaten the security of the state.