The African Union, AU, has praised the electoral voting process in Chad for running peacefully, amid the counting of ballots.
After the polls were closed on Sunday, Klassou Komiselom, Head of Mission of the African Union said: “We give thanks to God that the process which started a while ago and which ends, I would say with this vote which started on Sunday, we are delighted that things have unfolded in the peace, security and freedom for those who have the right to vote”.
A member of the country’s independent electoral commission also said no incidents were reported.
“We thank God that everything went well, there were no problems, no incidents, that’s the main thing. Everything went according to plan and that’s the main thing,” said Ouman Mahamat, member of the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI).
The campaign process was marred with demonstrations and violent dispersal, prompting concern from rights groups who have said authorities have cracked down on dissent.
Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, are among those who have voiced criticism.
However, the AU said it was relieved that polling day went smoothly.
President Idriss Deby Itno, 68, is widely predicted to win re-election for a sixth term, extending his three-decade-long rule in this central African nation.
A former rebel and career soldier who seized power in a coup in 1990 with the help of the French military, he has thwarted attempts by rebels to oust him twice.
He has also been a key ally in the French-led fight against jihadists in the Sahel.
“We are going to build together an Africa like the other continents, an Africa that shares a long history, a common history, with those who colonised us and we are going to start this chapter together with them,” He told his supporters on his final campaign rally.