Chad opposition leader Succes Masra files challenge against presidential election result

Tuesday May 14 2024

Chad's interim President Mahamat Idriss Deby. PHOTO | REUTERS


Chadian opposition leader Succes Masra has lodged a legal appeal with the country's constitutional council to challenge the preliminary result of the country's May 6 presidential election.

The state-run national election management body on Thursday declared interim President Mahamat Idriss Deby winner of the election with 61.3 percent of the vote, according to provisional results, while Masra was placed a distant second with 18.53 percent.

However, prior to the official announcement, Masra, who serves as the prime minister of a transitional government, had claimed victory, alleging that an electoral fraud was being planned.

Read: Has Chad election outcome been set already?

"With the help of our lawyers ... we submitted a request to the Constitutional Council to reveal the truth of the ballot boxes," Masra said in posts on social media platforms Facebook and X on Sunday, urging his supporters to remain calm.

He shared a copy of a receipt showing that documents had been filed with the council, which an opposition official close to Masra said included copies of results sheets from polling stations, a table pulling together the figures and videos that allegedly show ballot stuffing and other cheating.


Another opposition candidate, Pahimini Padacke Albert, also challenged the results, according to a copy of the appeal seen by Reuters. He had previously congratulated Deby on his victory.

Political tensions are running high in Chad, the first of a string of coup-hit countries in West and Central Africa to attempt a return to constitutional rule. Deby seized power in April 2021 when rebels killed his long-ruling father, Idriss Deby.

At least 10 people, including children, were killed and dozens were injured by celebratory gunfire on Friday following the announcement of the results, according to Amnesty International and Chadian media.

Read: Casualties reported in Chad from gunfire celebrating Deby victory

Chad's Health Ministry confirmed that a number of people were hurt during the celebration win but asked journalists not to film or report on patients inside hospitals, a move condemned by Chad's press unions.