Face 2 Face Africa

by , at 09:42 am, May 04, 2016, Politics

Chadian Incumbent President Wins Fifth Term amid Rigging Claims

Chad President Idriss Deby
Chadian President Idriss Deby. (Photo: www.dailypost.ng)

Two weeks after Chadian incumbent President Idriss Deby was announced the winner of the fiercely contested April 10 election, the opposition is still discontented with the results, accusing the incumbent of voter fraud.

President Deby won his fifth term after reportedly beating out 13 presidential candidates who were running against him. According to the country’s National Independent Electoral Commission (NIEC), the incumbent won in a landslide victory after garnering 61.5 percent of the total vote.

Chad’s main opposition leader Saleh Kebzabo, who according to NIEC was beaten by the incumbent by nearly 50 percent of the vote, has refuted the outcome saying the elections were rigged.

“Hundreds of ballot boxes have disappeared,” Kebzabo claimed, adding that President Deby had imprisoned soldiers who intended to vote against him.

Contrary to what the NIEC announced as the official results, an alternative report shows that President Idriss Deby obtained only 10.10 percent of the vote while the main opposition leader Sale Kebzabo led with 33.15 percent of the total vote.

The report further claims a third presidential candidate Laoukein Kourayo Mbaiherem of CTPD got 25.82 percent followed by Mahamat Ahmad Al-habo of PLD with 14.89 percent of the total vote, all beating out the incumbent President.

Immediately after the April 10 poll, African Union election observers announced that the election was free and fair.

No Run-Off

According to NIEC, Chadian incumbent President Idriss Deby won with over 50 percent of the total votes cast, thus eliminating any possibilities of a run-off.

However, conflicting reports have emerged, accusing Deby of altering the total number of voters recorded in various voting stations including the diaspora.

Local reports indicate that a total of 6,298,801 Chadians were expected to vote, but in a conflicting statement, Chad’s electoral commission reported that only 5,781,306 qualified voters participated in the poll, leaving over half a million voters unaccounted for.

The opposition also wants to know where the 493 votes from the diaspora community went.

Latest reports from Chad also claim that conspicuous manipulation of voting records have been discovered in specific regions including West Mayo Kebbi, Tandjile, Ouaddai, East Ennedi, and Bahr-El-Gazal. At least 16,225 extra voters seem to have been fraudulently added to the official voter register in Bahr-El-Gaza where President Idriss Deby was declared the winner with 112.62 percent of the vote cast.

This, the report claims, is just one of the many discrepancies discovered after further scrutiny of the April 10 election. The opposition accuses the National Independent Electoral Commission of not being independent but rather favoring the Chadian incumbent President.

According to the report, NIEC’s results should be nullified and a run-off held between Saleh Kebzabo and Laoukein Kourayo.