Benin elects new President on Sunday

Benin elects new President on Sunday

Friday, March 4, 2016 6:31 pm

President Boni Yayi

President Boni Yayi

Benin will vote for a new president on Sunday in a crowded race focused on boosting the flagging economy, though logistical problems may keep hundreds of thousands from casting their ballots, the report says.

The current President, Boni Thomas Yayi is stepping down after two terms at the helm of the small West African cotton-producer, leaving 33 candidates vying to replace him.

Benin has not seen the levels of political tension that have plagued other recent votes across the continent, including in Burundi and Rwanda where leaders have tested constitutional limits to stand for a third term.

But there are concerns that frustrations could rise because of delays in distributing voting cards that have already held up the vote by one week.

Fidele Kikan, who heads Amnesty International’s Benin branch, said that “the problem is that many of the old cards had problems that were not addressed.

“I myself have not received my card, so I cannot vote and there are many people who cannot vote”.

Campaigning has centred largely on the unemployment, education and economic growth which has slackened as plummeting oil prices hit Benin’s much larger neighbour and main trading partner, Nigeria. (Reuters/NAN)

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