Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Benin's President Patrice Talon attends a UEMOA (West African Economic and Monetary Union) meeting in Abidjan
By Allegresse Sasse
COTONOU, Benin (Reuters) - Benin's President Patrice Talon, who previously vowed to serve only one term, enters Sunday's election a heavy favourite to win five more years in office amid criticism he has tarnished the country's reputation as one of West Africa's model democracies.
Talon, a multi-millionaire cotton magnate, faces two challengers, but analysts say he has prevented his strongest rivals from running by driving them into exile under the threat of criminal charges.
His U-turn about a second term, which he pledged as a candidate in 2016 to forgo in order to avoid “complacency“, has led to protests in the country of 12 million. Hundreds marched and burned tyres on Tuesday in several cities.