Chad to hold presidential election in May-June

By Thomson Reuters Feb 27, 2024 | 12:34 PM

By Mahamat Ramadane

N’DJAMENA (Reuters) – Chad’s election agency confirmed dates for a presidential election on Tuesday, committing to hold two rounds over May and June with provisional results due on July 7 under a promised transition back to democracy from junta rule.

The military authorities who seized power in 2021 initially said they would hold elections within 18 months, but later extended the transition period to Oct. 10, 2024.

“It is therefore imperative that the elections are held before Oct. 10,” the election agency said in a statement. “Beyond this date, the country will fall into a legal vacuum.”

The first round of the presidential poll will take place on May 6 and the second one on June 22, it said.

The agency said it would publish the lists of candidates selected by the Constitutional Council on March 24.

In December, Chadians voted in favour of a new constitution that critics said could help cement junta leader Mahamat Idriss Deby’s grip on power as it allowed him to run for the presidency.

He has not yet officially declared he will run.

He seized power after his father, President Idriss Deby, was killed on the battlefield during a conflict with insurgents.

His military government is one of several juntas currently ruling in West and Central Africa, where there have been eight coups since 2020, sparking concerns of a democratic backslide in the region.

(Reporting by Mahamat Ramadane in N’Djamena; Writing by Anait Miridzhanian; Editing by Alessandra Prentice and Matthew Lewis)