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Iran Press TV

Businessman Talon wins Benin presidential election: Unofficial results

Iran Press TV

Mon Mar 21, 2016 8:55AM

Provisional results from the second round of presidential election in Benin indicate that businessman Patrice Talon has won the votes in the West African country.

Incumbent Prime Minister Lionel Zinsou, who was also Talon's rival, acknowledged defeat on Monday, saying the results "point to a decisive victory for Patrice Talon."

"The difference is significant, [Talon's] electoral victory is certain," Zinsou said. "I have called Patrice Talon this evening to congratulate him on his victory, wish him good luck and put myself at his disposal to prepare for the handover."

Benin's electoral commission is due to announce official results later on Monday.

Some 4.7 million people were eligible to cast their ballots in the vote.

Zinsou, 61, won the first round of election on March 6 with 27.1 percent of the vote, compared to 23.5 percent for Talon, a 57-year-old entrepreneur.

Talon, who used to be a close ally of outgoing President Boni Yayi, fled to exile in France after he was accused of masterminding a plot to poison the president in 2012. He, however, returned last October after mediation efforts.

"I have the impression that our country's renaissance is already under way. The renaissance will come, and I am going to win," Talon said after voting on Sunday.

Poll worker immediately began counting ballots after voting ended in the late afternoon.

As the next president, Talon will face major challenges, such as unemployment, corruption and health and education issues in the West African country with the population of 10.6 million.

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