Chadian President Idriss Deby was elected to an unprecedented third term in office, following the final tabulation of the votes cast in the May 3rd presidential election. Chad’s Independent Electoral Commission tallied the results, reporting Deby the winner with 77% of the votes, more than nine times that of his closest opponent, former prime minister Kasire Coumakoye, who earned just 8%.
Among other competitors were three politicians who served under President Deby in previous government configurations; they finished with approximately 5, 4, and 3 percent of the vote.
Maxwell Loalnger, a journalist and editor of the Chadian newspaper Le Temps, told English to Africa reporter Howard Lesser that Chadians who voted had little selection among the candidates. He said, “A large majority of Chadians are disappointed because they don’t want once again this Deby because they are lastly tired after the 16 years of governance. There are a lot of problems. For example, we have not enough electricity in our towns and now security is one of the main problems. There is no security in our towns, villages, and on our roads.”
Despite Deby’s large margin of victory, Loalnger says the boycotts played a crucial role in reducing voter turn-out and that the significance of this event could influence change in the governing techniques employed by President Deby in his upcoming third term in office. In Mr. Loalnger’s words, “After the recent vote, Deby will have a lot of problems to govern Chad effectively because we have in many parts of this country rebel groups who are active and it will be very difficult for him to govern this country. But we hope that with the help of the international community, all the parties who go to the negotiating table will find some solution to the problems.”