May 14, 2006

Chad’s Deby won May 3 presidential election – CENI

By Betel Miarom

N'DJAMENA (Reuters) - Chad's President Idriss Deby won the
May 3 presidential elections with 77.5 percent of the vote, the
electoral commission announced on Sunday, handing him a third
five-year term in the central African oil producer.

Despite a rebel attack on the capital N'Djamena three weeks
before the polls, Deby's re-election was widely considered a
formality after opposition parties boycotted the election,
calling it a farce.

Announcing the result, Ahmat Mahamat Bachir, the president
of Chad's Independent National Election Commission (CENI), said
turnout was 61 percent.

Western diplomats had reported a low, unenthusiastic
participation at the polls which appeared to hand Deby only a
shaky mandate.

Rebels who launched the April 13 attack on N'Djamena, in
which hundreds of people were killed, have already rejected
Deby's offer of dialogue.

Deby, 54, a French-trained pilot, has ruled Chad since his
Patriotic Salvation Movement (MPS) rebel group seized power in
a revolt from the east.

He won elections in 1996 and 2001, but his rule has been
weakened by high-level desertions and he faces a series of
insurgencies led by former allies who accuse him of being
corrupt and dictatorial.

Deby's four rivals included two government ministers and a
member of parliament for a party allied to his government.

The opposition has accused France, which has some 1,300
troops stationed in Chad and provides military intelligence to
the government, of interfering to keep Deby in power. France
has said it would support any democratically elected