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Polls Close in Chad's Presidential Election


Polls have closed in Chad's presidential election, with incumbent Idriss Deby expected to win a third term.

News agency reports say voter turnout was low, with many people apparently heeding the opposition's call to boycott the election, which pits President Deby against four allies.

Mr. Deby cast his ballot early in the day, telling reporters it was important the election proceed on schedule. A range of voices, including opposition leaders, Chad's bishops, the United States and the African Union, had urged the president to postpone the election.

Tensions have been high since rebels attacked N'Djamena nearly three weeks ago in an attempt to topple Mr. Deby's government. Rebels had threatened to disrupt the election, but reports out of Chad say calm prevailed throughout the day.

President Deby is a former army chief who seized power in 1990, and won disputed elections in 1996 and 2001. He pushed through a constitutional referendum last year that allowed him to run for a third term.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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