Chad’s President, Idriss Deby Itno on Tuesday has declared he will run for a fifth term in April’s election and promised to restore term limits if he wins. He said this after been chosen as his party’s candidate, having been in power since 1990 after a coup.
“You have given me the immense honor of renewing in me your confidence by making me your candidate in the 2016 election. The principles of presidential term limits in the constitution must be reintroduced, they provide vitality to our young democracy.”
“Today, nothing requires us to remain in a system where changing leaders becomes difficult,” President Deby told members of his ruling Patriotic Salvation Movement (MPS) party at the political party’s convention on Tuesday.
The 64-year-old modified the constitution in 2004, scrapping its two-term limit on presidential tenure, and won the following elections by a huge majority, just as a civil war between Muslims and Christians erupted.
If he wins enough ballots in the April 10 elections, Deby will extend his grip on power that began in 1990 when he overthrew former president, Hissein Habre.
Candidates have from February 10 to 29 to file their bid. A runoff vote will be held on May 9 if no outright winner emerges from the first round in April. Two opposition figures, Kassire Coumakoye and Malloum Yobode, have already declared they will run.
Chad has become a key Western ally in the fight against Boko Haram terrorists in neighboring Nigeria.
The oil-rich central African country, which is entrenched in poverty, is playing a pivotal role as a Western ally, in the military campaign against the Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram.
In January, at the 26th African Union summit, Deby was elected the new chairperson of the Africa Union taking over from veteran Zimbabwe leader, Robert Mugabe.
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