Protests Break Out In Benin Before Election
Faizan Hashmi Published April 06, 2021 | 08:15 PM
Protests broke out across Benin on Monday night and Tuesday as opposition leaders called for demonstrations days before President Patrice Talon faces an election
Cotonou, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 6th Apr, 2021 ) :Protests broke out across Benin on Monday night and Tuesday as opposition leaders called for demonstrations days before President Patrice Talon faces an election.
Tensions erupted in at least six towns around the West African country, local residents and witnesses said, ahead of Sunday's ballot in which Talon is strongly favoured to win a second term.
Benin has long been seen as a vibrant multi-party democracy but critics say under Talon the country has veered into authoritarianism and opponents have been sidelined or forced to flee into exile.
Talon is running against two little-known rivals, Alassane Soumanou and Corentin Kohoue.
On Monday evening, groups of several dozen and at times even a few hundred demonstrators gathered in multiple towns in the centre and north of the country, known to be opposition strongholds, where Talon campaign vehicles were ransacked.
In Parakou, in the north, a stronghold of former President Boni Yayi, Talon's campaign headquarters were vandalised, along with the premises of a private radio station.
On Tuesday morning in the capital Porto Novo, dozens of supporters of Sebastien Ajavon, who came third in the last presidential election and is also living in exile, "invited the army to take power" during a demonstration.