MAHAMAT DEBY declared winner of Chad's disputed presidential election

Friday, May 17, 2024
 - Chad's junta leader General Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno has been announced as the winner of the country's presidential election. 

After the final results came in on Thursday, May 16, it was stated that Deby, who seized power the day rebels killed his father President Idriss Deby in 2021 and declared himself interim leader, got 61 percent of the vote, well ahead of second-placed candidate Succes Masra with 18.54 percent. 

Opposition leader Masra acknowledged the council's ruling and did not say he would fight it.

The oil-producing country is the first of a string of coup-hit states in West and Central Africa's Sahel region to attempt a return to constitutional rule by holding elections.

It has remained a key Western ally in the fight against al Qaeda and Islamic State-linked insurgencies in the Sahel region, even as Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso kicked out Western forces and turned to Russia for support instead.

But Washington and former colonial power France have kept a wary eye since Chad's air force chief last month told the U.S. to halt activities at an air base, citing problems with paperwork. The U.S. announced a temporary withdrawal of at least some troops in response.

Deby's victory prolongs the rule of the family that has had a firm grip on power since Deby's father took over in a coup in the early 1990s.

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