The return of the opposition marks the legislative elections this Sunday in Benin

The return of the opposition marks the legislative elections this Sunday in Benin


The Beninese opposition returns to the polls after three years of absence in the legislative elections that are held this Sunday and are understood as a rehearsal for the 2026 general elections in which the current president and undisputed leader of the country, Patrice Talon, will have to leave power once they have completed their two five-year constitutional terms.

More than 6.5 million voters will be able to vote in elections where representatives of seven political parties — four from the presidential movement, three from the opposition — are running for the 109 seats in the National Assembly in the 24 constituencies of the country under attack view of the mission of 40 observers from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) headed by the former President of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau Raimundo Perreira.

Among the opposition formations, the Democrats party stands out above all, led by Talon’s predecessor and great rival, Thomas Boni Yayi, whose supporters staged strong protests in 2019 after learning of the prohibition to appear in these elections for failing to meet strict criteria .

However, a subsequent successful appeal before the Constitutional Court allows The Democrats to become the seventh party to appear in elections where representatives of all parties will measure their strength to gauge who may be able to succeed Talon.

Until then, Talon will continue to completely dominate the country. It should be remembered that the president keeps two of his main opponents imprisoned, the former minister Reckya Madougou and the constitutionalist Joël Aïvo by order of a special anti-terrorism court, harshly criticized by the opposition for considering the court an instrument purely at the service of the president.

Talon and Boni Yayi have a strained relationship. In 2012, the then-president accused Talon, a cotton magnate, of trying to have him poisoned, but the businessman denied the accusations. In 2016, Talon prevailed over Boni Yayi’s preferred successor in the elections, given that he was unable to run for a new term after ten years in power.

Meanwhile, the Minister of the Interior and Public Security, Alassane Séidou, has announced the total closure of businesses and the country’s borders during voting day to facilitate the development of the elections, which will end at 8:00 p.m. local time, reports ‘La Nouvelle Tribune’.

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Written by Editor TLN

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