Chad is expecting a stressful presidential election on Sunday. The country has already witnessed schemes to assassinate prominent political figures and to bomb polling stations. In addition to these challenges, the opposition has called for a boycott of the vote.
Africa News reports that Chad’s interior ministry had on Thursday revealed that several people, including politicians, had been arrested, following the discovery of a plot to assassinate prominent political figures. The plan had also involved bombing polling stations as well as the electoral commission headquarters.
Idriss Deby, Chads 30-year leader is expected to be handed a sixth term as 10 contenders had either been barred from running or had quit. In late February, the police and soldiers had carried out a bloody raid on the home of a prominent would-be candidate, Yaya Dillo Djerou. Djerou’s mother, amongst others, was killed in the raid. Africa News reports that he is still on the run.
68-year-old Deby, a former rebel and career soldier, had seized power by way of a coup in 1990. He had on two occasions foiled attempts to oust him, thanks to French military support. According to Africa News, Deby has also been France’s key ally against fighters in the Sahel.
Protests, meanwhile, have also been banned, or violently dispersed. Right groups have become outraged, accusing authorities of cracking down on dissent. The president’s announcement to seek a sixth term in February sparked violent demonstrations.
There are six other candidates running, including 54-year-old Lydie Beassemda, the first woman to run for president in Chad’s history.
Umm Muhammed Umar