Chadian presidential election, 2006
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A presidential election took place in Chad on May 3, 2006. A 2005 constitutional referendum made it possible for President Idriss Déby to run for a third term; having come to power in December 1990, he previously won elections in 1996 and 2001. Despite a serious rebellion based in the east of the country, the election was held on schedule; Déby was re-elected with about 65% of the vote, according to official results. The main opposition parties boycotted the election.
At the time of the 2006 election, the country faced increasing tensions with Sudan, high unemployment, and a growing insurgency fueled by deserting members of the Chadian military and the United Front for Democratic Change rebel group. Chadian journalist Koumbo Singa Gali Sy said the election would "be a non-event. It's Déby against Déby."
The election was the first in the history of Chad in which no major opposition candidate participated, because most political parties in Chad boycotted the election in response to Déby's decision to run for a third term. The only candidates were President Déby, Agriculture Minister Albert Pahimi Padacké for the National Rally of Chadian Democrats, former Prime Minister Delwa Kassiré Koumakoye for the National Rally for Development and Progress, Mahamat Abdoulaye for the People's Movement for Democracy in Chad, and Brahim Koulamallah for the Renewed African Socialist Movement party; the latter three were representatives of political parties allied with Déby's Patriotic Salvation Movement party.
On March 25 opposition leader Lol Mahamat Choua said in a speech to about one thousand supporters at a rally in N'Djamena, "We staunchly reaffirm that we are not taking part and will not endorse this masquerade. The elections announced for 3 May will not take place. They must not take place. You must contribute actively toward this end." In a meeting in mid March between Chadian opposition leaders, Chadian Prime Minister Pascal Yoadimnadji, and United Nations representatives, Ngarlejy Yorongar, who ran against Déby in 1996 and 2001, but boycotted the 2006 election, presented an 18-point proposal that called for a six-month extension of Déby's presidency to reform the electoral process. "Déby has refused our proposal; that's why I am not participating in the upcoming election."
A local journalist said that for Déby "the game is up; he's going to fall. The main and most troublesome question is who is capable of taking his place?"
On May 3, 2006, although rebel groups did not disrupt voting as they had threatened to, voter turnout was "extremely low". 
Although by May 5, the election and Déby's victory was given the support of the African Union, some Western diplomats expressed astonishment regarding the AU approval. Opposition groups called on the world to ignore the vote, and accused France, which maintains a military contingent in the country, of having backed Déby for its own interests. Dispute over voter turnout was acute, with the opposition maintaining a turnout of a mere 2 percent, while the chairman of the Chadian electoral commission estimated turnout at around 60 percent.
Initially it was announced by the national election commission that Déby had won 77.6% of the vote. Proclaiming the final results on May 28, the Constitutional Council revised this downward, declaring Déby the winner with 64.67% of the vote; it also placed turnout at 53.08%. Déby was sworn in for another term in office on August 8, 2006.
|Idriss Déby||Patriotic Salvation Movement (MPS)||1,863,042||64.67|
|Delwa Kassiré Koumakoye||National Rally for Development and Progress (Viva-RNDP)||435,997||15.13|
|Albert Pahimi Padacké||National Rally for Democracy in Chad (RNDT-Le Réveil)||225,368||7.82|
|Mahamat Abdoulaye||People's Movement for Democracy in Chad (MPDT)||203,637||7.07|
|Brahim Koulamallah||Renewed African Socialist Movement (MSA/R)||152,940||5.31|
|Total (turnout 53.08%; boycotted by major opposition parties)||100.00|
|Source: Constitutional Council of Chad.|
- "CHAD: Opposition denounce poll as 'masquerade', refuse to field candidate", IRIN, 27 March 2006.
- "CHAD: Opposition denounce presidential poll", IRIN, 8 May 2006.
- "Voting ends in Chad's elections", BBC News, 3 May 2006.
- Pascal Fletcher, "African praise for Chad election causes astonishment", Reuters (Ramadji.com), 5 May 2006.
- Pascal Fletcher, "Chad opposition calls for rejection of Deby poll", Reuters (Swissinfo.org), 6 May 2006.
- "CHAD: Deby win confirmed, but revised down to 64.67 pct", IRIN, May 29, 2006.
- Valery Gottingar, "Scrutin présidentiel du 03 mai 2006: le Conseil Constitutionnel proclame le Président Idriss Deby Itno réélu au premier tour avec un score de 64,67%.", Chadian government website, May 29, 2006 (French).
- "Deby sworn in as Chad's president", People's Daily Online, August 9, 2006.
- Elections in Chad
- 2005 Chad constitutional referendum
- Government of Chad
- 2006 Chadian coup d'état attempt
- Chadian-Sudanese conflict
- L'actualité du Tchad (in French)