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Chad Votes With 30-year Ruler Deby Poised For Sixth Win

Chad headed for the presidential election on Sunday. There, Idris Devi Itono, the ruler of the country for the past 30 years, appears to be guaranteed a sixth term.

Debbie, 68, a major ally of the Western counter-jihad campaign in the Sahel, is the front runner in the race of six candidates with no major rivals after a banned or decentralized demonstration.

Chad has suffered from poverty and instability since his independence from France in 1960.





Map showing the 12 longest-serving leaders in Africa
AFP / Lawrence SAUBADU

Its leader, Debbie, is a former rebel and career soldier who seized power in a coup d’etat in 1990 and blocked two attempts to expel him with French support.

Other candidates include Albert Pahimi Padacke, 55, former Prime Minister of Debbie, Felix Nialbe Romadungal, 64.

Former Minister of Agriculture and Production Lydie Beassemda, 54, is the first woman in Chad’s history to run for president.



Ring the Trumpet: Supporters of Debbie's Patriotic Salvation Movement (MPS) at Thursday's Campaign Rally


Ring the Trumpet: Supporters of Debbie’s Patriotic Salvation Movement (MPS) at Thursday’s Campaign Rally
AFP / MARCO LONGARI

She touts campaigns on federalism in countries where ethnic conflicts are common and women’s rights in cultures where patriarchal rule is well established.

However, the other seven candidates were dismissed by the Supreme Court, and three resigned, including long-time opposition politician Saleh Kebzabo, who resigned in protest of security force violence.



Key figures: Debbie at the Sahel Summit in the French city of Pau last January


Key figures: Debbie at the Sahel Summit in the French city of Pau last January
POOL / REGIS DUVIGNAU

Weekly protest marches that encourage a change of power are either banned or forcibly disbanded.

On February 28, police and soldiers attacked the home of prominent candidate Yaya Dillo Djerou in commando style. His mother is currently on the run, with at least three killed.

Human Rights Watch (HRW), Amnesty International, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and others have expressed criticism.

The United States urged Chad’s election supervisors and courts on Thursday “to ensure that these elections are held freely, fairly and transparently.”



All Arab nomads in Warrior Tradeks in the southern suburbs of N'Djamena want drinking water and land to settle.


All Arab nomads in Warrior Tradeks in the southern suburbs of N’Djamena want drinking water and land to settle.
AFP / MARCO LONGARI

A US State Department spokesman, Ned Price, warned that “we will monitor for the next few days.”

But Debbie also benefits from divisions and weaknesses within the opposition ranks, as before.

François Jekonbe, president of the Rally for the Republic of the Opposition, said efforts to mobilize the people were undermined by internal conflict, poor leadership and poor communication.

“Let’s humbly admit that we failed,” he said before the election day. “It’s clear that people don’t want the mass rebellion we tried to impose.”

“By the considerable means that Debbie has mobilized, he is certain to win,” said Kerma Manatouma, a Chad expert at Paris Nanterre University.

A family of nomadic Arab nomads evacuating to temporary tents on a southern approach to N’Djamena complained that the Debbie government had forgotten them, but many complained to him because of the stability he brings. He said he would vote.

They want some wells with lots of land and drinking water, now living in a brick house across the road and enjoying access to dozens of wells. I am forced to buy from a farmer who is.

“I’ll vote for Idriss Dévi,” said 35-year-old Zenava in the scorching heat of the Warrior Tradex nomadic camp. “It’s true that he’s doing nothing for us poor, but at least he’s establishing peace and security.”

Arab Muslim nomads from the north have clashed violently in the past with peasants from the south, mainly Christians and animists.

Chad has been an oil producer since 2003, but is still in serious poverty.

According to the World Bank, 42% of the population lived below the poverty line in 2018. In 2020, Chad was ranked 187th out of 189 countries in the United Nations Human Development Index.



Chad Votes With 30-year Ruler Deby Poised For Sixth Win Source link Chad Votes With 30-year Ruler Deby Poised For Sixth Win

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