Citizens in Benin Republic head to the polls today to vote in a parliamentary election, as Opposition parties return to the ballot.
The country’s opposition had boycotted the recent presidential and legislative votes with many throwing flacks at President Patrice Talon.
Talon had reneged on an earlier promise to not run for another term and pursued a clampdown on the opposition since coming to power in 2016.
The 109 parliamentary seats in Sunday’s vote has seven parties competing for votes. Among them are Democrates party of Benin linked to Talon’s predecessor and rival Thomas Boni Yayi.
Boni Yayi’s supporters led protests in 2019 after opposition parties were excluded from the legislative vote having failed to meet strict election requirements.
The preliminary results are expected on January 11. It may be an indicator of the strength of the various political forces pushing to succeed Talon.
The next presidential election is slated for 2026, when the next parliamentary vote will also be held.
Talon does not belong to any party but is supported by the Bloc Republicain and Union Progressiste le Renouveau, the two dominant parties in the parliament.
Talon has denied targeting political opponents or violating human rights.
With more parties involved in the January poll, analysts project an improved turnout of between 50%-60% after slumping to just 27% in 2019.
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