Chad's President Deby re-elected in landslide first-round victory

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 21, 2016 7:18 PM

N'DJAMENA (Reuters) - Chad's incumbent President Idriss Deby, an important ally of the West in the fight against Islamist militants, won a fifth term in office in a lopsided first-round victory, the Central African country's elections commission announced on Thursday.

Deby, who argued during the campaign that only his government was capable of ensuring security amid a rising wave of extremist violence, took 61.56 percent of the vote in the April 10 poll, easily avoiding a second-round runoff.

Saleh Kebzabo finished a distant second with 12.80 percent of the vote followed by Laokein Kourayo Mbaiherem with 10.60 percent, according to the commission, which put turnout at 76.11 percent.

Chad has one of the most capable armies in the region and Deby has played a key role in efforts backed by the West to combat neighboring Nigeria's Islamic State-affiliated Boko Haram fighters as well as al Qaeda militants.

A former French colony, Chad also hosts the headquarters of Paris' 3,000-troop strong regional anti-militant operation, known as Barkhane.

(Reporting by Madjiasra Nako, writing by Joe Bavier, editing by G Crosse)