Factbox-Who are the main candidates in Chad's election?

FILE PHOTO: Chad's interim President Deby launches his presidential campaign

DAKAR (Reuters) - Chad will on Monday become the first of West and Central Africa's junta-ruled countries to hold a vote since a wave of coups swept over the region.

Opposition groups have raised objections and called for boycotts, saying the first-round presidential poll will be rigged. The interim government has said the ballot will return the country to constitutional rule.

Below are details of the three main candidates.


Deby seized power in April 2021, taking the title of interim president after his father, long-standing ruler Idriss Deby, died while fighting rebels.

The younger Deby initially promised to hold an election within 18 months, but his government postponed the polls until 2024 and allowed him to run for president.

A career soldier, Deby was a lieutenant general and head of an elite army unit that served as a presidential guard before his takeover. He fought Boko Haram and other jidhadist groups in Niger and Mali.

He appointed himself a five-star general in December 2021.

The 40-year-old, who is backed by ruling party Patriotic Salvation Movement (MPS), is widely expected to win the vote.

His campaign programme includes promises to focus on security, strengthen the rule of law and boost electricity production.


The staunch opponent of Chad's junta surprised many of his supporters by coming back from exile last year and accepting the position of prime minister in the interim government.

He had fled the country after dozens were killed and hundreds injured when security forces cracked down on demonstrations in the capital N'Djamena in October 2022.

In October 2023, authorities agreed to allow him and others who fled to return, in a deal brokered by Democratic Republic of Congo's President Felix Tshisekedi.

Masra, now 40, promised to run a grassroots campaign and to meet Chadians to understand what issues were most important to them.

The only other serious opposition contender, Albert Pahimi Padacke, accused him of collaborating with Deby.


Padacke, 57, served as prime minister from 2016 to 2018 and was seen as an ally of the former president Idriss Deby, the interim president's father.

Despite that, Padacke ran against the elder Deby several times. He came second in the 2021 presidential election with 10% of the vote. The election was boycotted by several opposition leaders who said it was rigged.

After Deby's death, the transitional military government named Padacke prime minister but he later resigned in order to pave the way for a new government.

His campaign programme says he wants to bolster security and reform the justice system.

(Reporting by Anait Miridzhanian and Mahamat Ramadane; Editing by Portia Crowe and Andrew Heavens)