Early Campaigns Spark Concerns Over Fairness in Chad’s Presidential Election

In Ndjamena, the capital city of Chad, billboards and posters endorsing junta leader Mahamat Idriss Deby and Prime Minister Succes Masra’s candidacies have already surfaced, even though the official campaign period for the upcoming presidential election is still weeks away. While campaigning is scheduled to commence on April 14th, with the election set for May 6th as per election authorities, the premature promotion of certain candidates has raised questions about fairness and transparency.

Opposition candidates, including Nasra Djimasrgar and Albert Pahami, have voiced their frustration over the apparent advantage afforded to their competitors. Djimasrgar expressed concerns that the early campaigning, featuring the images of President Deby and Prime Minister Masra, undermines the credibility of the electoral process, as it violates the electoral code’s stipulated timeline for campaigning.

Pahami echoed these sentiments, highlighting the failure of the electoral commission to address the violation effectively. He emphasized the need for impartiality and authority within the electoral administration to ensure the integrity of the electoral process.

In response to the outcry, the election authority has issued a statement urging Deby and Masra to cease early campaigning activities. However, the incident underscores broader concerns regarding Chad’s electoral history, characterized by a lack of credible elections in the oil-rich Central African nation.

The premature promotion of certain candidates not only undermines the principles of fairness and equality but also raises doubts about the transparency and legitimacy of the upcoming presidential election. As Chad prepares for this pivotal moment in its political landscape, the need for a level playing field and adherence to electoral regulations becomes increasingly imperative to uphold democratic ideals and ensure a credible outcome.

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