Early Results of Benin Presidential Election Expected to Favor Incumbent

The early results of the first round of Benin’s presidential election are expected Tuesday, with President Patrice Talon set to win a second five-year term amid accusations of election fraud.

Opposition leaders in the West African nation had called for a boycott of Sunday’s election, accusing Talon of pushing through election laws which disqualified his rivals or forcing them to leave the country.

Talon’s supporters deny the claim of election fraud, citing an election official’s comment that the vote was mostly peaceful, with no major incidents, despite some deadly clashes leading up to the election.

Still, not all voters made it to the polls. Emmanuel Tiando, president of the country’s electoral commission, the Autonomous National Electoral Commission or CENA, said voting could not take place in 16 of the country’s 546 boroughs, without an explanation.

An association of civil society groups said there were incidents of voters being threatened, harassed and intimated based on reports from hundreds of elections observers who spoke to Agence France Presse.

To date, the government has not publicly responded to the allegations, saying only that it was satisfied with the election.

Source: Voice of America

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