Chad’s President Idriss Deby is seeking to extend his three-decade rule of the oil-producing Central African country.
Deby is running for a sixth term in Sunday’s presidential election.
The 68-year-old veteran leader designated a Marshal in Aug. 2020, is one of the longest serving leaders in Africa.
He has ruled Chad since toppling the dictator Hissene Habre in a military coup in 1990.
In 1996 and 2001, Deby won elections. After a referendum removed two-term limits, he won subsequent elections in 2006, 2011, and 2016.
In 2018, Chad went through a constitutional change that paved the way for him to stay in power until 2033.
There are mounting signs of popular discontent with his leadership. On Thursday, April 8, opposition leaders in Chad urged their supporters to boycott the poll and called for fresh protests against Deby’s re-election.
Human Rights Watch has accused the Chadian security forces of targeting protesters and opposition in the run-up to the presidential election.
The organisation said “Chad’s security forces have ruthlessly cracked down on protesters and the political opposition in the lead-up to the country’s April 11, 2021, presidential election, harming Chadians’ right to freely choose their elected representatives.”