Mohamed Déby wins the presidential elections in Chad

Comment on the photo, Mohamed Déby succeeds his father, who has been in power for three decades

  • author, Katherine Armstrong and Paul Njie
  • Role, BBC News, London and Chad

Chad’s military ruler, Mohamed Déby, has been declared the official winner of the presidential election, legitimizing his hold on power.

General Deby won 61.3% of the vote, according to the state electoral authority, citing provisional results, while his closest rival, Prime Minister Sosis Masra, received 18.53%.

Massara had previously announced that he had achieved a “resounding victory” in the first round of voting, and that this victory had been stolen “from the people.”

General Déby, 40, was appointed as Chad’s leader by the army after his father, Idriss Déby Itno, was killed during a battle with rebel forces in April 2021.

His victory means that the Deby family’s 34-year rule will continue.

After the results were announced, supporters of the ruling coalition stormed the streets of N’Djamena to celebrate General Déby’s victory.

In his victory speech, which he posted on social media, he promised to serve all Chadians — “those who voted for me and the president to those who made other choices.”

“I have special thoughts for the unlucky candidates who lost out.”

“A small number of individuals believe they can make people believe that the elections were won by the same regime that has been ruling Chad for decades,” he said.

He added, “To all Chadians who voted for change and who voted for me, I say: Mobilize. Do it calmly and in a spirit of peace.”

The results of the elections that took place on Monday were announced two weeks earlier than expected.

It still has to be approved by the Constitutional Council.

Chad has become the first country where the military has seized power in West and Central Africa in recent years to hold elections and restore civilian rule.

But critics say that with the election of General Déby, not much has changed.

The voting process on Monday was mostly peaceful, but at least one voter was killed, according to local media.

There were also some opposition reports of irregularities on polling day.

The Constitutional Council excluded ten politicians who had hoped to run because of “violations” that some say were politically motivated.

Another potential dissident, General Deby’s cousin, Yaya Dilou, was killed by security forces in February, while allegedly leading an attack on the National Security Agency in the capital, N’Djamena.

Activists had called for a boycott of the elections.

Many remain in exile after a deadly crackdown on dissidents following protests in October 2022.

The oil-exporting country, with a population of nearly 18 million, has not witnessed a free and fair transition of power since its independence from France in 1960.

General Déby initially pledged to remain as interim leader for only 18 months, a period that was later extended. He also said he would not run for president.

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