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World Opposition sidelined as Benin votes in presidential election

08:15  11 april  2021
08:15  11 april  2021 Source:   aljazeera.com

presidential in Benin: anger against the "confiscation" of the

 presidential in Benin: anger against the votes © Yanick Folly protesters block a road in Toui, a bastion of the opposition in northern Benin, April 7, 2021 The army intervened Thursday In the center of Benin to disperse protest protestants against the "confiscation" by the President Patrice Talon of the Sunday presidential election whose real opposition has been eliminated. Soldiers made use of tear gas to disperse protesters who since blocked the main road of Savè, in the center of Benin.

Election billboards ahead of the April 11, 2021, presidential vote in Benin . A tense run-up to elections in Benin left one dead and several people wounded by gunfire in protests on Thursday in the central city of Save, an opposition stronghold, after troops descended to break up demonstrations. Unrest has brewed as critics of incumbent Patrice Talon say that Sunday's presidential vote is skewed in his favour with opposition leaders sidelined amid rule changes over who could stand.

Elections in Benin take place within the framework of a multi-party democracy and a presidential system. Both the President and the National Assembly are directly elected by voters , with elections organised by the Autonomous National Electoral Commission (CENA).

Voters in Benin are set to cast their ballots in a presidential election on Sunday, days after deadly protests against President Patrice Talon, who is heavily favoured to win a second term.

calendar: Supporters wave flags to welcome Benin President Patrice Talon and running mate Mariam Talata to a campaign rally at Abomey-Calavi, Benin, on April 9, 2021 [Pius Utomi Ekpei/ AFP] © Supporters wave flags to welcome Benin President Patrice Talon and running mate Mariam Talata to a c... Supporters wave flags to welcome Benin President Patrice Talon and running mate Mariam Talata to a campaign rally at Abomey-Calavi, Benin, on April 9, 2021 [Pius Utomi Ekpei/ AFP]

Talon, a cotton magnate first elected in 2016, faces off against two little-known rivals, Alassane Soumanou and Corentin Kohoue.

Opponents accuse the 62-year-old Talon of undermining Benin’s vibrant multi-party democracy by sidelining most of his main opponents.

What are the Benin bronzes, and why are they so controversial?

  What are the Benin bronzes, and why are they so controversial? In 1897, British soldiers looted the sculptures, which now remain in Western museums and collections.The city – situated in modern-day southern Nigeria – was famed for its specialist bronze-sculpting guilds: groups of skilled artisans that produced works of huge historic and cultural importance.

By Allegresse Sasse COTONOU (Reuters) - Benin 's prime minister Lionel Zinsou, favoured by the president to succeed him in next month's election , received a boost on Saturday when the leading opposition party also named him as their preferred candidate. In a ceremony on Saturday declaring their support, leaders of the PRD party described Lionel Zinsou as the "consensus candidate" that would bring prosperity to the tiny West African country whose economy has been hit by a slowdown in neighbouring Nigeria.

An electoral officer prepares voting materials during a presidential election at a polling station in Cotonou, Benin , March 6, 2016. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye. By Allegresse Sasse. COTONOU (Reuters) - Benin began counting votes after an election on Sunday to choose a successor to Some polling stations in the capital stayed open beyond the set closing time to allow people already in line to cast their ballots, a witness said. "It's a matter of pride for me to have done my duty as a citizen," said Clarisse Nibime, who voted in the capital. The election reinforces Benin 's credentials as a model of

Protests in several cities last week turned violent. At least two people died in the central city of Save when troops on Thursday fired tear gas and live rounds to break up protesters who had blocked a major highway. Five others were wounded.

In the commercial capital Cotonou, several people said they feared violence on election day.

“The events of these last days scare me,” said Christophe Dossou, a student. “I prefer to remain cautious.”

Among the protesters’ complaints are Talon’s U-turn on a pledge he made as a candidate in 2016 to serve only one term, and changes he pushed through to election laws that he said were aimed at streamlining unwieldy government institutions. In practice, those reforms resulted in total control of parliament by Talon’s supporters and the exclusion of leading opponents from the presidential race.

Benin vote count begins after opposition groups boycott election

  Benin vote count begins after opposition groups boycott election President Patrice Talon is expected to win a second term in office as group of opposition parties called for a boycott.Provisional results of the first round of the election are expected by April 13.

Presidential elections were held in Benin on 13 March 2011 after being postponed twice from 27 February and 6 March 2011. Incumbent President Yayi Boni ran for re- election against thirteen other candidates

Voting passed off calmly Sunday in the deciding second round of Benin 's presidential election , with Prime Minister Lionel Zinsou taking on businessman Patrice Talon for the tiny west African country's top job. Some 4.7 million people were eligible to cast their ballots in the vote to elect a successor to outgoing President Thomas Boni Yayi, with the first results due out in a week. "Everything went well, nothing serious to speak of," said Mathieu Boni, an election observation organiser, although he added that there had been some attempted ballot stuffing which was being investigated.

One opposition leader Reckya Madougou was detained last month on accusations of plotting to disrupt the election, a charge her lawyer says is fabricated.

A judge from a special economic crimes court created by Talon also fled the country last week after denouncing political pressure to make rulings against the president’s critics, including the decision to detain Madougou.

Meanwhile, businessman Sebastien Ajavon, who came third in the 2016 presidential poll, was convicted of drug trafficking in 2018 and sentenced to 20 years in prison, while another potential rival, ex-finance minister Komi Koutche, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for embezzlement. Ajavon lives in exile in France, while Koutche lives in Washington, DC.

Talon denies targeting his opponents.

He has campaigned on his economic record, which includes improvements to key infrastructure such as roads, water and energy supplies.

Ballot counting under way after tense election in Benin

  Ballot counting under way after tense election in Benin Ballot counting was under way in Benin on Monday after an election with little suspense as President Patrice Talon looked set to win a second term following a tense campaign. The vote itself was largely peaceful in the West African nation once praised as a vibrant democracy, but critics have accused Talon of rigging Sunday's ballot by sidelining opposition leaders. The cotton tycoon first elected in 2016 faced just two other rivals, little-known Alassane Soumanou and Corentin Kohoue, as most opposition figures were either disqualified by electoral reforms or were in exile.

Election officials across Benin on Monday are collating ballots and counting votes a day after the country held a historic poll to choose a successor to outgoing President Thomas Boni Yayi. Results of the 2016 presidential election are expected “between 24 to 48 hours after polls closed Sunday evening,” said Calvin-Smith, adding that “at this point it does look like the country is in store for a second round”. Under Beninese law, if no candidate secures more than 50 percent of the vote in the first round, the country must hold a runoff.

Utah general election results 2020, including electoral votes for Trump and Biden, voting maps by county and district, and live polling results. The expected vote is the total number of votes that are expected in a given race once all votes are counted. This number is an estimate and is based on several different factors, including information on the number of votes cast early as well as information provided to our vote reporters on Election Day from county election officials.

Benin, a country of about 12 million people, became Africa’s top cotton exporter in 2018 and recorded average annual gross domestic product growth of over 5 percent before the global economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

“What we did was not easy,” Talon said at one of his final campaign rallies on Friday. “We are strong and we know how to get it done.”

He said he expects a “knock-out victory” for which there would be no need for a runoff vote.

The United States, German, French and Dutch embassies as well as the European Union delegation in Benin all called on Friday for calm and for the vote to go ahead in a free and transparent manner.

“We urge all parties to express their perspectives peacefully,” US State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters. “We urge the electoral institutions and courts overseeing these processes and verifying these results to ensure these elections are conducted freely, fairly, and transparently.”

Results are expected to be announced on Monday or Tuesday.

Benin: a judge of a special court fled the country denouncing "pressures" .
© France 24 (screenshot) Essowed Batamoussi, the Beninese judge of a special court who fled the country, interviewed by France 24. A few days before the presidential election in Benin, a judge of a special court fled the country, affirming suffering from the authorities. The latter denounce "political manipulation". "The judge I am is not independent". Monday, April 5, a judge of a special court at Benin fled the country accusing the authorities of "pressures".

usr: 0
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