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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Chad votes as north-east Nigeria looks on

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One of Nigeria’s northern neighbours, Chad, is holding elections today and results are being awaited in north-east Nigeria, which suffers when trouble breaks out in that country.

Everyday.ng reports that for sometime, Chad was believed to be somewhat involved in the insurgency that ravaged the north-east, with a Federal minister confessing to journalists how the uncooperative attitude of its former leader was hampering government efforts to deal the problem.

The presidential election this Monday is meant to end three years of military administration and usher in democracy, but instead it appears likely to solidify the interim president’s grip on power.

General Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno who seized power in 2021, suspended the constitution, and was installed as the president of the Transitional Military Council, is the favourite among the 10 candidates.

The 40-year-old became the central African nation’s leader when his father, who had repressively ruled Chad since 1990, died from wounds suffered on the front line as he visited troops in the north battling rebels.

The vast country of around 19 million people has never experienced a peaceful transfer of power since its independence from its former colonial power France in 1960.

Déby promised that his presidency was only a temporary placeholder until Chad had transitioned to a new democratic government.

But he has crushed opposition demonstrations, voters and observers alike doubt that the election will be fair.

NAN reports that the politics of Chad take place in a framework of a presidential republic, whereby the President of Chad is both head of state and head of government.

Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and parliament.

The president is elected for a five-year term by the people.

The National Assembly has 155 members, elected for a four-year term in 25 single-member constituencies and 34 multi-member constituencies.

Meanwhile, stakeholders in the ongoing transition process in Chad Republic have been tasked to maintain peace and calm to avoid endangering the significant progress made so far in the country’s back journey to democracy.

The republic’s 2024 Presidential Election was scheduled for May 6 and June 22, 2024, following a national referendum held in 2023.

In a statement Sunday, just a day before the first leg of the elections, Special Envoy to Tchad of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC), Ambassador Babagana Kingibe, congratulated the Transitional Authorities, the Chadian people, and all friends of Chad for their journey towards a democratic constitutional order through peaceful elections.

The statement serves as a reminder for the importance of peaceful and democratic elections in Chad’s transition process, and the need for all stakeholders to work together and also ensure a stable and prosperous future for the country.He acknowledged the challenges faced during the transition process, just as he lauded the Tchadians for their patriotism, mutual tolerance, and spirit of compromise.

He stressed the need for maintenance of peace and good order during and after the elections, urging all presidential candidates, political parties, and the general public to patiently await the announcement of the results by the authorized body-ANGE.

The envoy urged the stakeholders to address challenges or grievances peacefully through the constituted electoral guidelines and laws or judicial processes.

Kingibe warned that any alternative approach would risk the tremendous progress and sacrifices made by all parties.

He, therefore, reiterated the continued support of the LCBC leaders for a peaceful inauguration of a new democratic constitutional order in Chad.

He said: “The transition process had not been easy or without often heated contentions. However, the Tchadians confronted all the challenges, weathered all the political and security storms and are now on the cusp of the final lap.

“Therefore, I call on all the presidential candidates, the political parties and leaders, and the general public to maintain the relative peace and good order demonstrated during the campaigns, continue to remain calm, and after the voting, patiently await the announcement of the outcome of the elections by the ANGE, the body legally authorized to announce the results.

“I further urge that any challenges, complaints or grievances that may arise are taken up peacefully for settlement through the constituted electoral guidelines and laws, or if necessary, the judicial processes. The alternative is to risk the tremendous progress and the fruits of the great sacrifices already made by all parties.

“I wish to reassure of the continued support to Tchad of the Leaders of the Lake Tchad Basin Commission as they look forward to the peaceful inauguration of a new democratic constitutional order in the country.”

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