Chad’s presidential election sees low turnout amid strong police deployment

N’Djamena, Apr 11 (EFE).- Chadians on Sunday were voting to elect a president for a six-year term amid low turnout and a strong police and military deployment.

The elections are taking place in an atmosphere of calm although the opposition had called for a boycott and an attempt to protest in the capital was quickly dispersed.

Voting centers opened at 7am local time but logistical issues delayed the beginning of the election process at some stations.

“We have been here for an hour, they have told us to wait, that the material is not available. However, we want to vote quickly and continue our business,” Juliette, a 40-year-old woman who went to vote in N’Djamena’s seventh district, told Efe.

Incumbent president Idriss Déby, who is seeking a sixth term in office, called on the people to cast their ballots as he voted in the presidential neighborhood.

 “I have come to do my duty like all Chadians. I am confident in our victory in the first round,” Deby said as he left the center.

Déby, who took the helm in December 1990 by ousting dictator Hissène Habré in a coup, is challenged by another six opposition candidates.

Déby has won every election since the first democratic vote in 1996, although is repeatedly accused of fraud by the opposition.

He has modified the constitution twice. He eliminated the limit of two five-year terms in 2005 and 2018 established a presidential term of six years, which could be renewed once. The change could see him remain in power until 2033. EFE


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