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Chad’s military ruler declared winner of presidential election as opposition disputes result

Chad’s military leader, Mahamat Deby Itno, was declared the winner of this week’s presidential election, according to provisional results released Thursday. The results were contested by his main rival, Prime Minister Succès Masra.

The national agency that manages Chad’s election released results of Monday’s vote weeks earlier than planned. The figures showed Deby Itno won with just over 61% of the vote, with the runner-up Masra falling far behind with over 18.5% of the vote. Gunfire erupted in the capital following the announcement.

Preliminary results were initially expected on May 21.

Chad held its long delayed presidential election following three years of military rule, a vote that analysts widely expected the incumbent to win. Deby Itno, also known as Mahamat Idriss Deby, seized power after his father, who spent three decades in power, was killed fighting rebels in 2021.

The oil-exporting country of nearly 18 million people hasn’t had a free-and-fair transfer of power since it became independent in 1960 after decades of French colonial rule.

Hours ahead of Thursday’s announcement, Masra published a speech on Facebook accusing the authorities of planning to manipulate the outcome.

africanews

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