Chad opposition quits election body, vote in doubt

Fri Mar 25, 2011 4:56pm GMT
 

N'DJAMENA (Reuters) - Chad's opposition parties withdrew from the electoral commission on Friday, putting at risk a delayed presidential election scheduled for next month.

Three major opposition candidates in the oil-producing Central African country already said this week they would boycott the vote on concerns it would not be credible.

Chad's electoral code requires the commission to have at least two-thirds of its 31 members present to constitute a working quorum. Fifteen are from the opposition.

"The coalition of political parties have decided to suspend their participation in the electoral commission," said a letter by the deputy spokesman of the coalition, Saleh Kebzabo, who is a presidential candidate.

President Idriss Deby had been set to face five opponents in the election on April 24. His ruling party and its allies won a parliamentary election on February 13.

There has been a lull in rebel attacks recently after years of unrest which have frustrated previous attempts to hold elections.

The opposition's decision to suspend participation in the electoral process risks throwing another election in the region in to disarray.

Disputed elections in Ivory Coast, the world's biggest cocoa producer has lead to a four-month violent stalemate, and another disputed election in Benin has led to violent protests.

 
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