Provisional results show Deby wins absolute majority in Chad presidential election

Chad President Idriss Deby. /VCG

Incumbent Chadian President Idriss Deby has won the absolute majority in the first round of the presidential election, according to provisional results announced Monday evening by the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) of the central African nation.

According to the CENI, Deby received 3,663,431 votes, or 79.32 percent of all votes cast. Voter turnout was 64.81 percent. The Constitutional Council will proclaim the final results in the days that come.

The presidential poll took place on April 11 amid political and security tensions.

In early March, three opposition candidates announced their withdrawal from the race, including Saleh Kebzabo, heavyweight of the opposition who wants to boycott the election. Kebzabo came second in the 2016 presidential election.

Since April 11, the polling day, militants of the Front for Alternation and Concord in Chad (FACT), an armed rebel group based in neighboring Libya, have made incursions into the province of Tibesti, in northern Chad.

More than 300 FACT rebels were killed and 150 others, including three top leaders, taken prisoner last Saturday in Chad’s western Kanem province, a Chadian army spokesperson said on Monday.

The battleground is some 300 km north of the capital N’Djamena. On Monday, security in the capital city has been beefed up with tanks deployed in major strategic positions.

The government called on the population to stay calm, saying the security reinforcement was misinterpreted, and there is no particular threat to fear.

Several opposition parties and civil society organizations in Chad called on the warring parties to reach a ceasefire, and asked the government to open an inclusive national dialogue to ease tensions.

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