Chad’s military leader sworn in as elected president

Reading Time: 2 minutes

After three years of military rule, interim leader Mahamat Idriss Deby was sworn in as Chad‘s new president on Thursday.

The country is the first of six junta-led states, following coups over the past four years in West and Central Africa, to orchestrate a return to constitutional rule via the ballot box.

Nevertheless, Deby’s victory was controversial.

He won 61% of the vote according to the electoral commission, but two losing candidates unsuccessfully challenged the result alleging fraud.

“To my brothers and sisters who, for one reason or another, did not choose me, I would like to say that I respect your freedom of choice, which is part and parcel of the vitality of our democracy. But from now on, I am the President of Chad. From now on, I am the President of Chad, the president of all perspectives and sensibilities.”

Deby seized power in 2021 after his father, President Idriss Deby, was killed by rebels.

The older Deby had ruled Chad – which is rich in oil resources but one of the poorest countries in the world – since a coup in the early 1990s.

The World Bank says more than 40% of Chad‘s population lives below the poverty line.

Neighboring Sudan’s civil war has sent more than half a million refugees across the border, further straining Chad‘s resources.