Chad’s long-time ruler President Idriss Déby had his candidacy for a sixth term in office endorsed by the ruling party on Saturday ahead of elections in April.
“Allow me, my brothers and sisters, to tell you that it is after a mature and deep introspection, that I decided to respond favourably to this call of the people,” Déby told delegates at a meeting of the Patriotic Salvation Movement.
Déby is a French-trained former fighter pilot who rose to power in December 1990 following a revolt which ousted former dictator Hissène Habré.
The 68-year-old has won re-election every five years since then, thanks to constitutional changes approved by a referendum in 2005 to remove limits on presidential terms.
Endorsement of Déby comes days after a dozen opposition parties said they will field a joint candidate against the incumbent in the April 11 vote and signed a deal creating an electoral coalition called Alliance Victoire (Victory Alliance).
The coalition’s manifesto outlines a joint approach for government, a code of conduct and “the criteria for appointing a single candidate on a transparent and consensual basis”.