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Chad Swears in New President After Disputed Election, Ending Military Rule

Chad has sworn in Mahamat Deby Itno as its new president, marking a significant transition from military rule to democratic governance. The inauguration took place on Thursday, following a disputed election held earlier this month. Deby Itno, who seized power three years ago after his father’s death, has promised to focus on key sectors such as agriculture, education, and healthcare.

In his first presidential address, Deby Itno emphasized the need for collective effort to bring about positive change. “I’ve heard your yearning for change, and I’ve understood you. Let’s all play our part, individually and collectively, to bring about the change we all hope, desire and expect,” he said.

Despite concerns over electoral irregularities, Western leaders have congratulated Deby Itno on his victory. The US State Department acknowledged “troubling shortcomings” but welcomed the milestones in Chad’s transition process. The British government also commended the engagement of the Chadian people and welcomed the largely peaceful conduct of the elections and campaign.

Chad, an oil-exporting country with a population of nearly 18 million, has not experienced a democratic transfer of power since gaining independence from French colonial rule in 1960. The country is seen as a stable ally in the Sahel region, where military coups have recently taken place in neighboring countries.

Deby Itno’s main rival, Succès Masra, had contested the election results but resigned as prime minister on Wednesday. Masra had been involved in protests against Deby Itno’s decision to extend his time in power and had fled the country in 2022 before being allowed to return and appointed prime minister.

Chad swears in president after disputed election, ending years of military rule
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