Backtracking on one-term pledge, Benin President Talon seeks five more years

By Reuters3 days ago

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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.

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