Benin Opposition Candidate Reckya Madougou Arrested

Madougou was apprehended on Wednesday in Porto-Novo in the presence of Joël Aivo, another opposition candidate, who bolted at the time of the arrest.

Arrowhead of opposition in Benin Republic and first female presidential candidate Reckya Madougou has been arrested for “planning to assassinate several political figures”, a government spokesman said on Monday.

Madougou who is flagbearer for Les Démocrates party has been barred from the presidential polls coming up on April 11 2021 by the electoral commission. She was disqualified for her inability to garner signatures of support from 16 mayors or MPs.

Critics have condemned the despotism under President Patrice Talon citing the exile from the country and ban placed on many opposition figures.

Twenty aspiring candidates including former minister Alassane Soumano and Corentin Kohoue, a dissident opposition figure officially handed in their documents to run for the presidency, but the electoral commission cleared only three candidates as having met the requirements.

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Sebastien Ajavon, another opposition leader who came in third in the last election and was convicted of drug trafficking in 2018 and sentenced to 20 years in prison, was sentenced in absentia on Monday to five years for forgery and fraud.

Benin government spokesperson Alain Orounla said “Compatriots who were preparing to commit crimes have designated Reckya Madougou as their sponsor “

Madougou, 46, who is the head of the Les Démocrates party was “planning to assassinate several political figures,” he added, emphasising that it was a “very serious offense of terrorism”.

Madougou was apprehended on Wednesday in Porto-Novo in the presence of Joël Aivo, another opposition candidate, who bolted at the time of the arrest.

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President Talon elected into office in 2016 said at the time he wanted to serve a single term but has recently changed his mind to run in the upcoming April polls.    


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