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Incumbent Chadian President Wins Fifth Term Amid Fraud Allegations

FILE - A woman casts her vote at a polling station for presidential election in N'Djamena, Chad, April 10, 2016.

Chadian President Idriss Deby secured his fifth term in office Thursday, beating out more than a dozen opponents in a landslide victory. But opposition leaders are accusing him of voter fraud.

Deby won 61.5 percent of the vote in the April 10 election, according to the national election commission, beating the main opposition leader Saleh Kebzabo by nearly 50 percent. Kebzabo, though, said the vote was rigged.

Kebzabo and a group of other opposition politicians said they don’t recognize the outcome of what they called an “electoral stick-up,” and accused Deby of stuffing ballot boxes.

“Hundreds of ballot boxes have disappeared,” the politicians said, also alleging that Deby had imprisoned soldiers who intended to vote against him.

Last week African Union observers said there was no foul play involved in the election.

More than six million people cast ballots in the election – a 76 percent turnout. Since Deby secured more than 50 percent of the vote, there will be no run-off election.

The internet was cut off while voting took place and mobile phones were unable to send messages. Following the announcement of Deby’s victory, his supporters celebrated by shooting guns into the air in the capital’s large Nation Square.