The party of the Chadian Prime Minister, Succès Masra, candidate in the presidential election on Monday May 6, denounced on Wednesday “serious violence and threats” against its leader and his supporters as well as fraud, calling on “the people” to “defend his will expressed at the ballot box.” Mr. Masra, 40, a former fierce opponent who rallied to military power, is running against the transitional president and head of the junta for three years, General Mahamat Idriss Déby, who appointed him prime minister on January 1.

The opposition, violently repressed and whose main figures have been ousted from the presidential race, considers Mr. Masra as a “traitor”, a candidate to give a “democratic veneer” to a “predicted” election for Déby . But by gathering considerable crowds during his campaign, the prime minister ultimately appeared as a rival who could worry the general, or at least push him to a second round, scheduled for June 22.

The Prime Minister is the subject of “surveillance” and “threats to his security […] extremely serious”, assures his party, Les Transformateurs, in a press release published on its Facebook page. He also denounces “serious threats and violence” targeting his supporters and “arbitrary arrests” since Monday’s vote, “the refusal of access to polling stations” to observe the counting, and “unimaginable violations, including live bullets, in order to monopolize the bulletins and minutes.”

The Transformers warn that they “do not intend to continue to suffer these actions in an impassive manner”, which they do not detail and attribute to “certain administrative authorities and some defense and security forces” who act “with the means of the State.” They call on “the people to remain vigilant and mobilized to defend their will expressed at the ballot box.” According to the party, “the private residence” of Mr. Masra “is the subject of drone surveillance” and “a video published online by a minister […] shows distorted images […] aimed at defaming him” , all “accompanied by extremely serious threats to his security”.

“Deleterious context”

Still according to the party, Transformers activists have suffered “arbitrary arrests”, others are “actively sought”. A “set of unacceptable behaviors” which “pose risks to the current electoral process”.

The official results must be announced on May 21, but Les Transformateurs already believe that “Chadians voted massively and expressed very clearly their firm desire for change brought by the candidate” Masra, referring to “data compiled by the candidates’ staffs ”, without further details. MM. Déby and Masra faced eight other candidates, relatively little known or deemed not very hostile to military power.

After thirty years of unchallenged power, Marshal Idriss Déby Itno was killed by rebels on his way to the front in April 2021, and the army immediately proclaimed his son Mahamat transitional president, at the head of a junta of fifteen generals. Three years later, the 40-year-old general is trying to legitimize his presidency at the ballot box. Many observers predicted until recently that it would be a formality, as for his father, elected and re-elected six times after his 1990 coup. But today they believe that Mr. Masra could play spoilsport.

Friday, in tune with an opposition which boycotted a rigged election, according to it, and intended to perpetuate more than three decades of “Deby dynasty”, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) was concerned about a “ election which seems neither credible, nor free, nor democratic”, “in a deleterious context marked by […] the multiplication of human rights violations”. The NGO International Crisis Group (ICG) had also expressed “doubts about the credibility of the election” after the ousting of candidates from a “muzzled political opposition”.