Chad's opposition, civil society groups and some election observers are condemning violence, threats and fraud, including the stuffing of ballot boxes, to favor transitional president General Mahamat Idriss Deby after the central African state’s May 6 presidential polls. Deby's …"> Chad's opposition, civil society groups and some election observers are condemning violence, threats and fraud, including the stuffing of ballot boxes, to favor transitional president General Mahamat Idriss Deby after the central African state’s May 6 presidential polls. Deby's …">
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Chad opposition, civil society groups complain of vote rigging and threats

Posted on  May 9, 2024 
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Chad opposition, civil society groups complain of vote rigging and threats

Chad's opposition, civil society groups and some election observers are condemning violence, threats and fraud, including the stuffing of ballot boxes, to favor transitional president General Mahamat Idriss Deby after the central African state’s May 6 presidential polls. Deby's main challenger, Prime Minister Succes Masra, is asking for international assistance, saying he is under surveillance and faces threats to his safety after at least two people were killed in the election.

Masra says there has been persistent violence and threats against him and his supporters since election day.

The Transformers, the party Masra leads, said on Facebook Wednesday that their candidate's residence is under drone surveillance, but gave no further details.

The party denounced what it called threats and serious violence to intimidate their supporters, who they say have also been arbitrarily arrested since Monday's vote.

Masra charged that Chad’s National Elections Management Agency, known as ANGE, is rigging the vote in favor of Deby. Masra urged civilians to defend what he called their will expressed at the ballot box against massive electoral fraud.

Chad's Coalition of Moral Authorities for Mediation, or CONAMM, an association that includes traditional rulers, clerics, former government ministers and youth and women leaders, complained of massive fraud and intimidation during the polls.

Speaking on Chad’s state television Thursday, CONAMM's secretary-general Baniara Yoyana said there were many irregularities including seizing and stuffing of ballot boxes in favor of Deby by government officials. He added such irregularities are pushing civilians who think that their democratic rights are being abused to riot.

Chad's opposition and civil society say a government soldier who attempted to stuff ballot boxes in favor of Deby died in a hospital after he was assaulted and stabbed by angry voters near Moundou, Chad's second-largest city.

They also say a civilian was killed on election day in Moundou following a dispute in a polling station.

Chad's government acknowledges the killings but denies troops were ordered to vote and rig the election in favor of Deby.

The central African state’s officials say ANGE is a permanent, independent and impartial body and refute what they say are allegations Deby wants to rig the election and proclaim himself Chad's president.

Civil society groups and CONAMM say Chad may descend into chaos if the government and ANGE fail to ensure the results they will publish reflect the aspirations of Chad's citizens as expressed in Monday's polls.

Saleh Kebzabo’s duty as Chad's government-appointed state mediator is to preempt and negotiate an end to potential crises and threats.

He said he is pleading with all citizens to be calm and maintain peace while waiting for the official proclamation of Chad's May 6 presidential elections results by the country's constitutional council, which is the only body empowered to proclaim definitive results. Kebzabo said results civilians appear to be contesting are fake because Chad's Constitutional Council has not proclaimed any.

Kebzabo said tensions are also provoked by a ban on filming or taking photos of result sheets in polling stations and publishing them on social media and radio and television. ANGE says it imposed the ban because opposition parties may manipulate results they film to ignite violent clashes.

The European Union said Tuesday that Chad officials denied nearly 3,000 civil society members it financed from observing the presidential election.

Deby was proclaimed transitional president in April 2021 after his father, Idriss Deby Itno, was killed in a gun battle with rebels following 30 years in power.

He promised an 18-month transition to democracy but then extended it by two years. He is seen by many observers as the likely winner of the May 6 presidential polls, whose result will be proclaimed by Chad's Constitutional Council on May 21.

The opposition and civil society accuse Deby ruling with an iron fist and say he is not ready to relinquish power. But Deby says he will hand over power if defeated.

Source: VOA

Follow the African Elections Project on Facebook and Twitter @Africanelection for more updates.


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