Chad opposition rejects presidential poll result
By Betel Miarom
N’DJAMENA (Reuters) – Chad’s opposition on Monday rejected
election results which handed President Idriss Deby a third
five-year term in the central African oil producer, saying far
fewer people had turned out to vote than claimed.
According to official results announced on Sunday, Deby won
the May 3 presidential elections with 77.5 percent of the vote.
His re-election had been widely considered a formality after
opposition parties boycotted the election, calling it a farce.
“It is a grotesque machination. We do not recognize the
result,” former President Lol Mahamat Choua, who heads the
Coordination of Political Parties for the Defense of the
Constitution (CPDC) opposition coalition, told Reuters.
“The voter turnout does not correspond to reality, to the
truth of what happened at the polling stations. … We knew the
results would be like this. We do not recognize their
legitimacy and we will soon take action,” he said, without
Chad’s Independent National Election Commission (CENI) said
voter turnout had been 61 percent. But Western diplomats and
journalists had reported a low, unenthusiastic participation.
The polls went ahead despite a rebel attack on the capital
N’Djamena three weeks earlier and despite calls from opposition
groups and some foreign governments for Deby to postpone the
election and open a dialogue with his opponents.
The rebels who launched the April 13 attack, in which
several hundred people were killed, have rejected an initial
offer of dialogue from Deby, and have vowed to unite with other
groups to end his 16-year rule.
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 in 1990. He won elections in 1996 and
2001, though international observers noted irregularities both