AFRICA/CHAD - First round of presidential elections completed

Tuesday, 7 May 2024 elections   bishops  

N'Djamena (Agenzia Fides) - The first round of presidential elections in Chad ended yesterday, May 6. This election was supposed to be the end of the provisional transitional regime installed after the death of President Idriss Déby Itno, who was killed by rebels on the front lines on April 20, 2021. His son, Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno, took power and became interim president.
The outgoing president was also one of the candidates in yesterday's elections, the results of which are due to be announced on May 21st. If none of the candidates meet the quorum to win in the first round, there will be a runoff election on June 22nd. The outgoing president's main challenger is Prime Minister Succès Masra, a former opposition figure who has joined the regime. Despite the opposition's call to boycott the election, the Archbishop of N'Djamena, Goetbé Edmond Djitangar, called on Chadians to go to the polls and "fulfill their civic duty with conscience and responsibility." "It is a civic act of great importance. We should therefore not give up exercising our right to freedom of expression at the ballot box under the pretext that everything has already been decided in advance," he stressed. "I reiterate our hope that citizens will express their opinions through a free election and a transparent announcement of the results," the archbishop said in a press release. "I ask all Catholic believers who are involved in any way in these elections to behave in an exemplary manner and to act as free citizens in the face of moral pressure, threats and corruption," said Archbishop Djitangar, who also called on the faithful on Sunday, May 5, to pray for the candidates in the presidential elections. "May the Lord give them the strength and courage to show a patriotism consistent with their ambitions. God Almighty bless Chad and all the people who work for the good of the country. May he encourage our leaders to speak and "Inspire deeds of peace and drive away from the hearts of Chadians any desire for violence." Meanwhile, on February 28, Yaya Dillo, opposition politician and leader of the Socialist Party Without Borders (PSF), was killed in an attack on his party's headquarters (see Fides, 29/2/2024). The death of the main opponent was followed by a series of arrests and intimidation (see Fides, 5/3/2024). (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 7/5/2024)