News24

Chad delays parliamentary poll

2011-01-14 12:55

N'Djamena - Chad has delayed its parliamentary election by a week to February 13, the election commission said in a statement.

The date has been pushed back to accommodate delays in preparations caused by the sacking last month of the head of the election commission, a vice president of the poll body, Mangral Bante, said late on Thursday.

The parliamentary elections will precede a presidential poll in April at which President Idriss Deby, who has been in power since a 1990 coup, is likely to seek re-election.

Chad's main opposition coalition last month secured the sacking of election commission chief Ngarmajiel Gami, who was accused of fraudulently adding eight people to the parliamentary candidate list at Deby's behest.

Gami has since been replaced by Yaya Mahamat Liguita, a former teacher and head of the Chadian Red Cross.

Chad produces about 115 000 barrels of oil per day but has been gripped by simmering rebellion in the east and the land-locked nation remains around the bottom of the United Nations' Human Development Index of quality of life.

There are some hopes for stability after Deby appeared to have improved relations with Omar Hassan al Bashir, president of neighbouring Sudan, after five years of a proxy war fought by their rebel groups on their remote shared border areas.