Chad names Deby’s son as head of military council

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A four-star general, son of Chad’s slain president, Idriss Deby Itno will replace him at the head of a military council, the army announced on Tuesday. The Council is expected to hold power for 18 months.

“A military council has been set up headed by his son, General Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno,” the army’s spokesman, General Azem Bermandoa Agouna, said on state radio.

This was shortly after the announcement that the newly re-elected president had died of wounds while fighting rebels in the north of Chad where he had gone to visit soldiers battling rebels, an army spokesman said on Tuesday.

The news came a day after Deby won a sixth term, as per provisional election results released on Monday.

The 68-year-old Deby, who came to power in a rebellion in 1990, won 79.3 percent of the vote in the April 11 presidential election, the results showed.

Former prime minister Albert Pahimi Padacke came in second with just 10.32 percent in the presidential vote, while turnout was 64.81 percent, Independent National Electoral Commission chairman Kodi Mahamat Bam said.

The first female president candidate in Chad’s history, Lydie Beassemda, came third with 3.16 percent.

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The provisional results still need to be approved by the Supreme Court after it studies potential legal appeals.

After more than three decades in power, the victory of 68-year-old Deby was never in serious doubt after a campaign in which he faced a divided opposition lacking a major rival candidate and demonstrations were banned or dispersed.

Officially nine candidates were running against Deby, but three withdrew and called for the vote to be boycotted — though the Supreme Court kept their names on the ballots.