General Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno, proclaimed president by the army three years ago, launched the campaign for a presidential election on Sunday April 14 that he is almost guaranteed to win on May 6 after his junta ousted him from office. race its main rivals.

From the first day of the official campaign, the capital of Chad, N’Djamena, was almost completely decked out in the colors of its coalition of parties and giant portraits of this 40-year-old general, reports a journalist from Agence France- Press.

Barely a few posters displayed the faces of some of the other nine candidates here and there, with the exception, in his neighborhood, of Succès Masra, a former fierce opponent who joined the junta in January and was appointed prime minister by Mahamat Déby.

The opposition, muzzled and severely repressed for three years, accuses Mr. Masra of having betrayed it and of competing to steal their votes with the idea of ​​ensuring a majority for the general and retaining his position as head of government.

Some of the eight other candidates, whom the ousted opposition accuses of being stooges accepted or promoted by the junta to give “a democratic veneer” to a “predicted election”, also campaigned in N’Djamena , but in front of much smaller assemblies.

Opposition muzzled, adversary assassinated

Large cars and numerous coaches carrying thousands of sympathizers to General Déby’s first campaign meeting traveled through the city covered with photos of their champion and his slogan: “With MIDI for a united Chad” (MIDI being the acronym of his name).

“I am a soldier and a man on the ground”, “After three years at the head of the country, I have experience… What do the others have? “, said the little man with a youthful face behind thin glasses, in front of thousands of supporters gathered under a blazing sun on the main Place de la Nation, a stone’s throw from the presidential palace. All under the surveillance of numerous soldiers from the all-powerful presidential guard that he led before taking power, heavily armed and perched on their armored vehicles.

In his neighborhood, Mr. Masra, also 40 years old, also held a meeting in front of a few thousand supporters. With his slogan “Lalekou” (“hello” in Chadian Arabic), he wants to lead a “door-to-door campaign”.

Mahamat Déby was proclaimed president of the transition by the army on April 20, 2021, at the head of a junta of fifteen generals, upon the death of his father Idriss Déby Itno, who reigned with an iron fist over Chad for thirty years.

After an eighteen-month transition extended by two years, he is almost assured of winning the presidential election after his regime violently repressed in the streets and muzzled all opposition and eliminated all competition.

His main opponent, Yaya Dillo, was killed at the end of February by soldiers in the assault on his party, with a “shot to the head at point blank range” according to the opposition, then the candidacies of ten other potential rivals were invalidated.