News24

Chad elections postponed

2011-03-22 09:49

Libreville - Chad's Independent National Electoral Commission (Ceni) said on Monday it has postponed a presidential election until April 24, a delay of three weeks, to be able to organise the poll better.

 "It's for internal reasons within the Ceni that we have decided it best to delay the election by a little bit, to gain a little more time, to organise things better," Ceni chief Yaya Mahamat Liguita told AFP in Libreville after the decision was announced.

Asked about demands made by the five candidates opposed to President Idriss Deby Itno, who are threatening to boycott the poll if several conditions are not met, Liguita said, "Those have nothing to do with it, it's an internal problem in the Ceni."

"We're not satisfied," particularly with the delay from April 03 to April 24, the candidate of the National Union for Democracy and Renewal (UNDR), Saleh Kebzabo, told AFP, adding that "for the moment, the discussions with the Ceni are not over."

In a joint document presented to the Ceni on March 3, the five opposition candidates have asked for new voters' cards; the publication of fraud-proof digitalised voting papers; the respect by the government, territorial administrators and the army of measures to avoid abuse of power and of symbols of the state; an overhaul of the Ceni and steps to secure the safe passage of voting materials.

During parliamentary elections in February largely won by Deby's Patriotic Movement of Salvation (MPS), with 133 of the 188 seats (according to results from the Ceni yet to be confirmed by the Constitutional Council), electoral observers and political parties protested about mismanagement and shortcomings in the organisation of the poll, often blamed on the Ceni.