Chad President Vies for Sixth Term in Power

Obiajulu Joel Nwolu

President Idriss Deby Itno of Chad is set to contest for his sixth term in office in the oil-producing Central African country.

Deby who has been in power for three decades has campaigned on the promises of building schools, paving roads, and improving standard of living in the country that is battling underdevelopment.

Large billboards of Deby flood the streets of the capital, N’Djamena and he is in pole position to clinch victory in the first round given that two of the prominent opposition candidates withdrew from the race as part of a boycott and a third man considered a top contender chose not to run.

The only remaining opposition candidate with the resources to campaign outside the capital is Albert Pahimi Padacke, a one-time Deby ally who served as prime minister from 2016 to 2018. Padacke has argued that the opposition boycott only benefits the president.

Padacke  in an interview with Jeune Afrique said,  “Every year, the youth, more and more of whom have only known Idriss Deby Itno, are faced with a more difficult future.

“Our economy has not benefited from oil resources and has not diversified to create jobs.”

According to a report by Associated Press, one of the remaining opposition candidates, Bruce Guedimbaye Mbaimon, has accused Deby’s party of using state resources to campaign.

Deby, a former army commander-in-chief, first came to power in 1990 when his rebel forces overthrew then-President Hissene Habre, who was later convicted of human rights abuses at an international tribunal in Senegal. Deby has continued to win re-election over the years, last drawing 61.5% of the vote in the last 2016 election.

In 2018, the country approved a new constitution that allows Deby to run for two more six-year terms.

Reuters reports that Deby and his wife were the first to cast their ballot at a polling station in N’Djamena early on Sunday as voting commenced.

This post was written by Obiajulu Joel Nwolu.

The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.

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