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Chad Holds Presidential Election After Years Of Military Rule

Senegal holds presidential election

Chad is currently in the midst of a significant political moment as voters across the country participate in a long-delayed presidential election. This election marks the end of three years of military rule under interim president, Mahamat Deby Itno, who took power after his father's tragic death in 2021.

The election features 10 candidates, including a female contender, with Deby Itno expected to be among the front runners. However, the political landscape has been marred by the killing of main opposition figure Yaya Dillo, the cousin of the current president, under unclear circumstances earlier this year.

Citizens of Chad are eager for change, with many expressing concerns about the high cost of living and the need for solutions to pressing issues. The country has been grappling with challenges such as high food prices exacerbated by the conflict in Ukraine, hosting over half a million refugees from Sudan, and facing threats from the Boko Haram insurgency originating in Nigeria.

The Boko Haram insurgency, which began over a decade ago, aims to establish Islamic law and has spread its reach to neighboring countries like Chad. Recent attacks attributed to the group have reignited fears of violence in the Lake Chad region, despite a period of relative peace following a successful Chadian military operation against the extremists in 2020.

The killing of opposition figure Dillo has raised concerns about the electoral environment, with human rights groups calling for a thorough investigation into the incident. Observers have noted the challenges to a free-and-fair election, citing the elimination or co-optation of significant opponents and the perceived bias in electoral institutions.

Chad, a nation of nearly 18 million people and an oil-exporting country, has a complex political history marked by a lack of peaceful power transitions since gaining independence in 1960 after French colonial rule. The outcome of this election will undoubtedly shape the future trajectory of the country and its governance.

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