Chad adopts new poll calendar

2010-10-09 20:51

N'Djamena - Chad's political parties endorsed Saturday a new electoral calendar that moves up the presidential and legislative elections by several weeks, while pushing back local votes.

President Idriss Deby Itno convened the meeting of the country's political parties to find a consensus on the electoral calendar following disappointment about delays announced last month by the national election commission (CENI).

The legislative vote was set for February 06 as opposed to CENI's proposed date of February 20, while the first round of the presidential vote was set for April 03 instead of May 8, according to CENI President Ngarmadjal Gami.

Local elections were pushed back to June 26 from March 27.

Indris Deby called for understanding of the difficulties faced by CENI, adding that "our wish is that the partners support us with these dates that are the final dates."

CENI had urged modest delays in the votes saying it did not have enough time to properly prepare the elections, even though voter registration had been completed in May and June.

The main opposition coalition, the CPDC, had supported CENI's new electoral calendar, but Indris Deby had wanted to hold the legislative and local elections by the end of this year.

Since Deby seized power in a 1990 coup, the results of Chad's elections have been consistently disputed by opposition parties and civil organisations.

The CPDC and Deby's Patriotic Salvation Movement, which dominates parliament, concluded a deal in 2007 aimed at promoting stability in a country that has long been plagued by political violence.