Chad’s presidential candidate Succès Masra: opposition leader or secret government ally?

Ten candidates are in the running for Chad's May 6 presidential election, but the race is dominated by the two frontrunners: General Mahamat Idriss Déby, who is currently serving as transitional president, and Prime Minister Succès Masra. Once a leading opposition figure, Masra has come under fire from other critics of the regime, who suspect him of striking a secret deal with Déby’s government.

Campaigning is in full swing in Chad, where the current transitional president, Mahamat Idriss Déby, will face his first test at the ballot box in the May 6 presidential election.

In power since April 2021, the current leader was proclaimed president by the army on the death of his father, Idriss Deby, who was killed on the battlefield after ruling for more than 30 years. Mahamat Déby, 40, had initially pledged to move to civilian rule after an 18-month transition before extending that period and finally announcing his candidacy for president.

Other candidates include former prime minister Albert Pahimi Padacké; Higher Education Minister Lydie Beassemda, the only woman in the race; and the current prime minister, Succès Masra, who is the opposition’s main hope.

He staunchly opposed Déby’s ascension to power in 2021, labelling it a "coup d'état" and calling for demonstrations.

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