Chad: Mahamat Idriss Déby declared winner of the presidential election, his competitor Succès Masra contests the provisional results

In Chad, the outgoing head of state, Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno, was elected President of the Republic in the first round of the election with 61

Chad: Mahamat Idriss Déby declared winner of the presidential election, his competitor Succès Masra contests the provisional results

In Chad, the outgoing head of state, Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno, was elected President of the Republic in the first round of the election with 61.03% of the votes, according to provisional official results communicated Thursday, May 9.

An hour before the start of the promulgation conference organized by the Electoral Commission in the capital, N'Djamena, patrolled by the military, its prime minister and competitor in this election, Succès Masra, had contested these provisional results and claimed to have arrived leading the first round.

The compilation of the results by his own camp “confirms the victory in the first round, that of change over the status quo,” declared Mr. Masra in a long speech broadcast on his Facebook page. “The victory is resounding and unblemished,” he proclaimed. “Don’t let your destiny be stolen from you,” Mr. Masra asserted. He also called on the police to “refuse to obey unjust orders”, calling on Chadians to “mobilize peacefully”, but “firmly” in order to “bring out the truth from the ballot boxes”.

The stakes in the elections are high: for General Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno, the son of former President Idriss Deby (died in 2021), hoisted by a group of officers onto his father's chair, it is to legitimize its power through the ballot box. The government is also pleased to organize the first presidential election among African countries (Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Niger) which have experienced undemocratic regime changes in recent years.

His rival, Succès Masra, returned to Chad on November 3, 2023 after a one-year exile and was named head of government following a political agreement with the government. Mr. Masra, aged 40, then attracted the wrath of his former allies among the opposition and within civil society, who now consider him a “pretext candidate” serving to give the illusion of an open ballot.

Observers sidelined

By gathering considerable crowds during his campaign, the prime minister ultimately appeared as a rival who could worry Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno. His party, Les Transformateurs, had denounced, as of Wednesday, “violence and serious threats” against its leader and his supporters as well as fraud, calling on “the people” to “defend their will expressed at the ballot box”. Success Masra was the subject of “surveillance” and “threats to his security (…) extremely serious”, assured his party, in a press release published on its Facebook page.

The European Union, for its part, deplored the exclusion of 2,900 civil society observers, which, according to it, harms the "transparency" of the presidential election, called into question by the opposition and several international NGOs. The latter had already expressed reservations about the “credibility” and transparency of an election which they judged, in tune with the opposition, to have been decided in advance in favor of Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno.