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Military Ruled Chad Votes For President In A Region Affected By Coups

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In the first presidential election to be held in Africa’s Sahel region since a spate of coups, Chadians lined up on Monday to cast their ballots, three years after military leader Mahamat Idris Deby took control.

Notwithstanding the fact that his main rival attracted larger-than-expected audiences throughout the campaign trail, analysts believe Deby, who assumed power on the day rebels assassinated his longtime father Idriss Deby in April 2021, has the best chance of winning.

Deby, who cast his ballot early on Monday in N’Djamena, the capital, has pledged to improve law and order, fortify security, and boost energy output. “Today I’m upholding a fourth commitment which was to complete the transition process launched in our country 3 years ago. It is now up to the people to vote massively to choose their president,” Deby said in a post on Facebook after voting.

8.5 million people have voter registrations. Final results are anticipated by June 5, with provisional findings due by May 21. A run-off election will take place on if no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote.

The poll takes place at the same time that American forces are temporarily leaving Chad. US is a crucial Western partner in a part of Central and West Africa that is being courted by Russia and plagued by jihadism.

Since taking over as president of the oil-producing nation in Central Africa from his father, Deby has maintained tight ties with France, a former colonial power and steadfast ally.

Chad is the only Sahel state with a significant French military presence, whereas other junta-ruled nations like Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger have warned Paris and other Western powers to leave and have turned to Moscow for assistance.

However, the US stated last month that it would be temporarily withdrawing at least some troops in response to an order from the head of Chad’s air force to cease operations at an air base.

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