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Talon set for April 11 poll victory with opposition sidelined

Despite his earlier promises to govern for only a single term, Benin’s President Patrice Talon is standing for re-election on 11 April and looks to be heading towards victory. Talon’s economic record remains strong and he has sidelined the opposition.

Photo: Benin's President Patrice Talon attends in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, April 10, 2017. Copyright The Africa Report
Striding across the stage of the Palais des Congrès, dressed in a safari suit, in December, Talon had all the nonchalance of a Silicon Valley CEO. What he is most proud of, he claims, is “creating a dynamic”: “In reality, this is our greatest achievement – our reforms. Building kilometres of road is not much; bringing water to people – of course it’s vital; but what is most important is to ensure the survival and development of our eternal nation forever.”

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During a press conference on Monday in N'Djamena, Chad at the headquarters of the Transformateurs party of opposition leader Dr Succès Masra, he described the upcoming April 11 election as a masquerade. Accusing the regime of abuse, he presented the media with the remnants of ammunition that were fired by police at the political site.

Chadian President Idriss Déby Itno, who has ruled since 1990, is gearing up to take on his sixth mandate as head of state.

It is a crushing victory and an unsurprising one. At the end of the first round of the presidential election held on Sunday 21 March, Denis Sassou Nguesso was re-elected for a fourth term as the head of Congo with 88.57% of the vote, according to provisional results announced on Tuesday by Raymond Zephirin Mboulou, the Minister of Interior. The turnout was 67.55%.

Leading opposition candidate says he’s ‘fighting death’ after being diagnosed with COVID-19 on eve of presidential election.

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