Chad declares interim president Deby winner of disputed vote

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Chad’s state election body said on Thursday interim President Mahamat Idriss Deby had won the May 6 presidential election outright with over 61% of the vote, citing provisional results, even as his main challenger declared himself the winner.

Chad’s junta has become the first of the coup-hit countries in West and Central Africa to stage a return to constitutional rule via the ballot box, but some opposition parties have cried foul over vote-rigging concerns.

With tensions running high, large numbers of security forces deployed at major intersections in the capital N’Djamena ahead of the results announcement.

National Election Management Agency chief Ahmed Bartichet said Deby had secured 61.3% of the vote – comfortably over the 50% needed to avoid a run-off.

He said Deby’s prime minister and top opposition candidate Succes Masra, 40, had won 18.53%.

Just before the ceremony, Masra claimed victory in a live broadcast on Facebook and called on security forces and his supporters to oppose what he called an attempt to steal the vote.