13 candidates to challenge Chad’s Idriss Deby for presidency

Fourteen candidates will compete for Chad’s presidency in elections on April 10, including long-time incumbent President Idriss Deby Itno and opposition leader Saleh Kebzabo, the constitutional council said Monday.

Deby, in power for 26 years, is running for a fifth term.

The list of his presidential rivals, announced on television, includes all the major opposition figures in a Sahel country that remains poor despite starting to make money from oil exports.

Kebzabo, president of the National Union for Development and Renewal (UNDR), is running for a third time, having stood against Deby in 1996 and 2001 and served under him as a minister several times.

Other candidates include Nouredine Delwa Kassire Koumakoye, a former prime minister under Deby, and Laoukein Kourayo Medard, the popular mayor of economic capital Moundou.

The elections come after a wave of unrest that has rocked Chad in recent weeks, with students taking to the streets in fury over the gang rape of a girl in mid-February, allegedly by the sons of a government minister and three army generals.

Two high school students have been killed by the police and army during the protests.



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