Chad’s military ruler, Déby, moves to convert to civilian president, launches political campaigns


N’DJAMENA – Chad’s interim President Mahamat Idriss Déby has started campaigning for the presidential elections meant to restore his country to democratic civilian rule.

He would face nine other candidates in the poll scheduled for May, 6, 2024 including the junta-appointed Prime Minister Succès Masra.

“You know me, I am a soldier and I hold my promises,” Reuters news agency quoted Déby as saying at his first campaign rally in the capital, N’Djamena.

He pledged to strengthen security and guarantee Chad’s peace and stability, the BBC reported.

Déby initially promised an 18-month transition to democratic rule, after he seized power in 2021, following the death of his father.

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But he later postponed the elections until this year, triggering protests that were violently suppressed by security forces.

Déby is widely expected to win the election, which some opposition politicians had branded “a farce”.

His main rival, opposition leader Yaya Dillo, was killed in a shootout with security forces on February, 28, 2024.

The government had blamed him for a deadly attack on the country’s security agency, which he denied.

The Constitutional Court also barred 10 other candidates from vying last month, including two vocal junta critics.

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