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Chad’s military ruler declared winner of disputed election

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Celebratory gunfire rang out in the capital on Thursday night after President Mohamed Idriss Deby, the military ruler of the Central African nation of Chad, declared on state television the winner of a carefully orchestrated presidential election.

Two hours before the official broadcast, his main challenger Succès Masra claimed a “complete victory”. Sousse Masra, the opposition leader, has been the country’s prime minister since January, after returning from exile and striking a deal with Mr Deby. .

However, preliminary results released by Chad’s national electoral management agency show that The other side achieved a complete victory. Mr Deby was said to have won 61 per cent of the vote and Mr Masra 18.5 per cent.

Many analysts believe that Chad’s election results are a foregone conclusion and were orchestrated by the so-called transitional government, which never intended to relinquish power.

Mr Déby, who came to power after his father, predecessor Idriss Déby Itno, was killed in combat in 2021, had pledged not to stand in the election.But he did, and faced a field thinned by the disqualifications of several prominent candidates, and gunshot death Two months before the vote.

The landlocked country of about 18 million people, a slender country in Africa’s arid Sahel region and ruled by a military junta after a coup, has never held free and fair elections. Civil society groups, opposition members and some election observers condemned violence and fraud in Monday’s election, amid accusations of ballot box stuffing.

Masra broadcast live on his Facebook page, calling on his supporters to “peacefully mobilize.” “You already know the results of this election because they are your results,” he said, reading from a tablet with a Chadian flag behind him. “You voted for change.”

But anyone venturing into the streets of the capital, N’Djamena, on Thursday night was met with a heavily armed military presence, rare even for Chad. Eighteen months ago, Dozens of protesters killed as they demand change amid demonstrations triggered by the junta’s decision to extend its rule.

Mohamed Adamu Chad N’Djamena contributed reporting.

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