Chad excludes military rulers' main opponents from presidential vote

Authorities in Chad said on Sunday they had barred 10 candidates, including three leading opponents of the ruling junta, from standing in the presidential election on 6 May. The vote is supposed to mark a return to democratic rule three years after military leaders seized power, but the opposition says it's a sham.

The constitutional court said the applications of outspoken opponents Nassour Ibrahim Neguy Koursami, Rakhis Ahmat Saleh and Ahmat Hassaballah Soubiane, as well as seven others, had been rejected because of "irregularities".

The court attributed the decision to missing or inconsistent documents, declaring that Koursami's file listed several different places of birth.

Ten other candidates remain in the running, most prominently the current leader Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno and his prime minister Succes Masra. Former prime minister Albert Pahimi Padacke also saw his candidacy approved.

Deby Itno was proclaimed interim president by military generals in 2021 following the death of his father Idriss Deby Itno, who had ruled the country for more than three decades.

Masra, a former opposition leader, signed a reconciliation deal with the junta leader earlier this year.

Call for boycott

The opposition says Masra's candidacy is a ploy to make the race appear open – when in fact Deby Itno is almost certain to win, since his main rivals are dead or in exile.

"If you boycott, [Deby Itno] will be elected. If you don't boycott, he'll still be elected. So does a boycott matter?" spokesperson Soumaine Adoum said at a press conference on Sunday morning.

(with newswires)


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