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Chad’s Deby set to win 6th presidential term

Chadian President Idriss Deby is widely expected to extend his three-decade rule in Sunday’s election, despite growing signs of popular discontent.

The opposition have called on their supporters to boycott the polls and make the country “ungovernable” after Mr. Deby’s decision to seek a sixth term sparked protests and clashes with security forces.

Sixty-eight-year-old Mr. Deby is one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders, having seized power in 1990 in an armed rebellion.

“Of course we are going to win,” Mr. Deby told supporters at a campaign event.

“I know in advance that I will win, as I have done for the last thirty years,” he said.

In 2018, Mr. Deby pushed through a new constitution that could allow him to stay in power until 2033, even despite the re-instatement of term limits.

He faces six other candidates in Sunday’s contest after the Supreme Court barred seven others.

The runner-up in the 2016 election, Saleh Kebzabo, and Ngarledji Yorongar, another prominent opposition leader, withdrew from the current race in protest against President Deby’s candidacy.

Chad, an ally of Western nations in the fight against Islamic State-linked militants, has deployed forces to hot spots in neighbouring countries to battle Boko Haram and other terrorist groups.

But its government is still threatened periodically by rebels in the north of the country.

In 2019,France, Chad’s former colonial ruler, sent war-planes to strike a heavily-armed rebel convoy after it crossed from southern Libya.

Mr. Deby has been heavily criticised for his handling of Chad’s oil wealth, as low oil prices and corruption have combined  to force public sector workers to strike.

On Tuesday, the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Kristalina Georgieva said Chad’s creditors would meet in the next week to deal with its request for debt relief.

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