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Chad’s President wins reelection, extending 30 years in power

NEWSMAN – Chadian President Idriss Deby has won a sixth term in office, provisional results released by the election commission showed on Monday.

Deby, who has ruled Chad for 30 years, was re-elected with 79.32 per cent of the votes cast. He had campaigned for peace and security in the country afflicted by violence.

On Monday, the Chadian army said it had defeated a rebellion launched on election day April 11 and killed “more than 300 enemies” who have been making an incursion into the north of the country for the past eight days.

It adeed that it had taken 150 prisoners and lost five soldiers in the fight, while the government assured that the situation was under control.

The turnout was 64.81 per cent for the election, which the head of state won unsurprisingly in the first round, according to Africa news. The Supreme Court still has to approve the results after considering possible appeals.

Mr Deby’s former prime minister, Albert Padacke, came second with 10.32 per cent of the votes cast.

Meanwhile, the first woman to run in a presidential election in Chad, Lydie Beassemda, came a third with 3.16 per cent of the votes.

Nine candidates were officially running against Mr. Deby, but three had announced their withdrawal and called for a boycott of the election, citing the violent repression of all the “peaceful marches” organised in recent months to demand “change of power.

The president was expected to give a victory speech to supporters but his campaign director, Mahamat Zen-Bada, said he had instead gone to visit Chadian soldiers on the front lines.

“The candidate would have liked to have been here to celebrate … but right now, he is alongside our valiant defence and security forces to fight the terrorists threatening our territory,” Al Jazeera quoted Mr Zen-Bada as saying.

Mr Deby’s re-election was never in serious doubt, looking at the divided opposition, boycott calls, and a campaign in which demonstrations were banned or dispersed.

The United States had ordered all of its non-essential embassy staff to leave the country on Sunday. The British government had urged its citizens to leave the previous day.

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