Chad election: Campaigns start as opposition candidates lament violations

Chad election: Campaigns start as opposition candidates lament violations

A political banner in the streets of N’Djamena in Chad on 06/04/2024

Copyright © africanews


By Africanews

with Joel Kouam


In the capital Ndjamena, the billboards and posters promoting the candidacies of junta leader Mahamat Idriss Deby and Prime Minister Succes Masra are already up despite the official start of campaigns for the presidential election still being weeks away.

Campaigning is meant to start on April 14  with the vote itself on May 6, according to election authorities. 

Opposition candidates have lamented the absence of level playing field. 

“Since 1 April, they’ve been campaigning on billboards that say, I’m voting for this candidate, I’m voting for that candidate, that’s my candidate, and either it’s the President’s effigy, or it’s the effigy of the Prime Minister, who’s also a candidate, and that’s frustrating,” said Nasra Djimasrgar, a candidate.

For Djimasrgar, the undue advantage accorded to his competitors is already undermining the credibility of the 6 May exercise. 

He says early campaigns give the junta leader and his premier 35 days of vote hunting instead of of the 21 days stipulated in the code.

Albert Pahami, former Prime Minister and candidate agrees.

“ANGE [electoral commission] is unable to clearly identify the perpetrators of this serious violation of the electoral code. So we’re not surprised, it clearly shows the lack of authority, the lack of neutrality, the incapacity of the electoral administration and it worries us about the future of this process that is starting”.

The election authority has since released a statement asking Debby ands Masra to stop early campaigns.

Chad, an oil-rich central African state has no history of organising credible elections.

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