Chad’s Key Opposition Figures Barred Amid Election Clearances for Leaders

Chad’s authorities have approved 10 candidates for the upcoming presidential election but have disqualified two prominent critics of the military government from running.

The Constitutional Council of Chad announced the exclusion of Nassour Ibrahim Neguy Koursami and Rakhis Ahmat Saleh, citing “irregularities” in their applications. Interim President Mahamat Idriss Deby and recently-appointed Prime Minister Succes Masra’s bids, however, have been accepted. The presidential election is scheduled for May 6 with a second round on June 22 and provisional results expected on July 7.

These elections mark a crucial step in Chad’s transition back to democracy from military rule, which has been prevalent in West and Central Africa. Notably, this election will be the first time in Chad’s history that a president and prime minister will compete against each other. The path to these elections has been turbulent, with President Deby’s initially promised transition delayed until 2024, sparking protests that were forcefully suppressed. The adoption of a new constitution further solidified Deby’s position, allowing him to run for president. Masra, a former opponent of the military rulers, returned to Chad after a reconciliation agreement but has faced criticism and opposition from some quarters.

Amidst this political backdrop, the recent barring of opposition candidates has raised concerns, especially following the fatal army assault on Yaya Dillo Djerou, General Deby’s main rival. Human Rights Watch has called for an independent investigation into Dillo’s murder, underscoring the challenges facing Chad’s electoral process.

About Geraldine Boechat 2707 Articles
Senior Editor for Medafrica Times and former journalist for Swiss National Television. former NGO team leader in Burundi and Somalia