Chad Junta Chief To Contest May 6 Presidential Vote

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Delegates car arrive at the Chadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs ahead of the start of an inauguration meeting of a coalition of parties for the candidacy of Chad transitional president General Mahamat Idriss Deby (not sen) for the presidential election of May 6, 2024 in N'Djamena on March 2, 2024. (Photo by AFP)
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Chad transitional president General Mahamat Idriss Deby address supporters at the Chadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs during an inauguration meeting

Chad junta chief Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno on Saturday said he would contest the May 6 presidential election, just three days after his chief rival was killed in murky circumstances.

Deby Itno took power in 2021 after his father, veteran leader Idriss Deby Itno, died while fighting rebels, as his father led the Sahel country for more than three decades.

Deby Itno had been proclaimed transitional president by the junta and had promised a return to civilian rule and elections within 18 months, as he subsequently extended the transition by two years.

The date of the presidential elections was announced on Tuesday, barely two months before the vote.

Deby Itno, 39, is almost certain to win, given that his main challenger has been assassinated and the opposition has been muzzled and repressed.

Meanwhile, Deby Itno’s cousin and main political rival, opposition leader Yaya Dillo Djerou, was killed after troops surrounded the office of his Socialist Party Without Borders in the capital N’Djamena.

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