Voting Begins In Benin Republic After Week Of Violent Protests

Voters in Benin was up early on Sunday to cast their ballots in the tense presidential election days after violent demonstrations broke out against President Patrice Talon.

The Incumbent President Patrice Talon is facing only two rivals: Alassane Soumanou and Corentin Kohoué, who are largely unknown to the public.

Other opponents are either exiled abroad or barred from running due to the new electoral code and institutional reform.

The Presidential campaign was marred by violence. 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

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According to the Autonomous National Electoral Commission (Cena) the roadblocks caused a delay in the deployment of electoral materials in the North.

For the first time in the history of Benin, the Vice-President will also be elected.

The president has promised a “knockout” first-round victory and is betting on his economic record in his bid for a second term.

During his tenure, the production of cotton, one of the country’s main resources, has increased sharply, petty corruption has almost been eradicated, and many roads were built.

And despite the coronavirus pandemic, the country has managed to maintain positive growth in 2020.

But 38% of the population lives below the poverty line and youth unemployment is skyrocketing. During campaigning, Talon promised, “development is there”.

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Nearly five million voters are expected in over 15,000 polling stations.

Voting will close at 16:00pm local time and results are expected on Monday or Tuesday.


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