N`Djamena: Chad has banned opposition rallies planned for this weekend, ahead of Monday`s swearing-in ceremony for President Idriss Deby`s fifth term, the interior ministry announced in a decree.
"The meeting and march planned for August 6 and 7 are banned throughout national territory," the decree issued Thursday said.
The opposition has called for Deby`s re-election in April to be annulled, citing voting irregularities. The planned weekend protests were to denounce a "political hold-up".
Various opposition groupings met last week under an umbrella front and had also planned a day of national "mourning" on Monday, the day of Deby`s formal inauguration.
Numerous overseas dignitaries will attend the ceremony.
Public Security Minister Ahmat Mahamat Bachir said the new opposition front could "upset public order, the peace of the population and poison national and international opinion," according to the TchadInfo website.
64-year-old Deby came to power in 1990 and was re-elected in a first round vote in April with 61.5 percent of ballots cast against 12.8 percent for his nearest rival Saleh Kebzabo, according to official results.
Kebzabo could not be reached for comment following the decision to ban opposition rallies.