Chad’s Top Court Upholds Election Result in Blow to Opposition

(Bloomberg) -- Chad’s top court rejected an opposition appeal to cancel the May 6 presidential election and declared the country’s military ruler the winner.

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Transitional leader Mahamat Déby secured 61% of the vote, while Prime Minister Succès Masra garnered 19%, Jean-Bernard Padre, the head of the Constitutional Council, said Thursday.

“Considering Déby obtained a majority of the votes in the first round of the May 6 vote, I declare him the winner,” Padre said.

Masra filed an appeal last week asking the court to annul the vote. He cited a number of alleged irregularities including ballot-box stuffing, along with members of his Transformers party being denied access to polling stations, threatened and even arrested.

“The claims are deemed unfounded,” said Padre, a former spokesman of ex-President Idriss Déby’s party that ruled Chad for more than three decades. Mahamat Déby took power with the backing of the military after his father’s death in 2021.

Masra had claimed victory in the election with 73% of the vote before preliminary results were announced.

In a separate appeal, Albert Pahimi Padacké, a former prime minister and the second runner up in the vote, contested the outcome in three regions where Déby won with a large margin.

The election took place two months after members of the security forces killed Yaya Dillo, head of the opposition Socialist Party Without Borders who had been a potential candidate in the election.

Celebratory gunfire by soldiers in the wake of the preliminary announcement of Déby’s victory left at least nine civilians dead, according to Human Rights Watch, an advocacy group.

“The pre-election period as well as the days following the vote were marked by violence,” it said in a statement on May 13.

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