South Asia and Beyond

Chad To Go To Polls After Three Years of Military Rule

 Chad To Go To Polls After Three Years of Military Rule

Chad has unexpectedly announced a return to presidential elections which will end three years of military rule. According to a VOA report the election is expected to take place on May 6 this year.

The elections come months earlier than was expected.

General Mahamat Idriss Deby one of the major contenders announced that he would run.

“I, Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, am a candidate for the 2024 presidential election under the banner of the For a United Chad coalition,” Deby said in a speech on Saturday.

Deby’s statement formalises an announcement made last month by Chad’s former ruling Patriotic Salvation Movement (MPS party) which said that he would be the party’s nominee.

According to an Al Jazeera report the 37-year-old became leader of Chad’s Transitional Military Council in April 2021 after his father, Idriss Deby Itno, died while fighting northern rebels.

The younger Derby took power and then promised to head an 18-month transitional council but according to Al Jazeera he dissolved the council in October 2022 and declared himself interim president.

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Derby Jr. announcement comes as the prominent Opposition leader Yaya Dillo was killed in gunfire on Feb 28.

According to a Reuters report the government said Dillo and members of his Socialist Party Without Borders (SPWB) had earlier attacked the internal security agency. But the Opposition has termed it an “assassination.”

Human Rights Watch has called for an investigation into the assassination and warned that more Opposition leaders may be targeted in the run-up to polls.

Chad is of crucial strategic interest to the West. According to a Reuters report both France and the US have stationed troops there to fight Islamic militancy in the continent. Army forces from Chad along with Western forces have fought Boko Haram militants from Nigeria and Al Qaeda militants in neighbouring Mali.

According to Le Monde after being driven out of Niger, the French army has now taken refuge in Chad its last ally in the Sahel region.

 

Ashwin Ahmad

Traveller, bibliophile and wordsmith with a yen for international relations. A journalist and budding author of short fiction, life is a daily struggle to uncover the latest breaking story while attempting to be Hemingway in the self-same time. Focussed especially on Europe and West Asia, discussing Brexit, the Iran crisis and all matters related is a passion that endures to this day. Believes firmly that life without the written word is a life best not lived. That’s me, Ashwin Ahmad.

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