Breaking News: Opposition candidate wins Benin election

Breaking News: Opposition candidate wins Benin election

Monday, March 21, 2016 10:42 am

Patrice Talon: Benin's president elect

Patrice Talon: Benin’s president elect

Patrice Talon, the out-of-favour presidential candidate has won the Sunday runoff election in Benin Republic.

Prime Minister Lionel Zinsou, backed by incumbent President Boni Yayi on Monday conceded defeat to the businessman Talon in presidential.

“I called Patrice Talon tonight to congratulate him on his victory and wish him luck,” Zinsou said in a statement on his Facebook page.

Zinsou and Talon competed in a second-round run-off vote after neither won an outright majority in the first round of voting on March 6.

Zinsou conceded after early results overnight gave Talon 64.8 percent of the vote, against 35.2 for Zinsou.

Lionel Zinsou:the favorite who lost

Lionel Zinsou:the favorite who lost

Zinsou, a former economist and investment banker, backed by outgoing President Thomas Boni Yayi and the main opposition Democratic Renewal Party, was an early front-runner in the election after winning the first round of voting.

However, he struggled to overcome the perception that having spent the bulk of his career abroad he is an outsider in his own country.

Talon was not immediately available to comment. He was a staunch supporter of Yayi before falling out of favour. Yayi later accused him of involvement in a plot to poison him.

Mediation efforts led to a presidential pardon, however, and Talon returned from exile in France in October.

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