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Benin - 2021 - Presidential Election

The March 2016 election chose a successor to President Thomas Boni Yayi, who was stepping down after two terms, leaving 33 candidates to compete for power in the West African country. Boni Yayi is leaving office after the legally mandated two terms, reinforcing Benin's reputation as a model of democracy on the troubled continent, where many leaders are revising their countries' constitution so they can remain in power.

Newly-elected Benin president Patrice Talon planned to reduce presidential mandates to just one five-year term, he said 26 March 2016 after the constitutional court confirmed his election victory over prime minister Lionel Zinsou. Talon took 65.4 percent of the vote in last Sundays run-off poll to decide who would replace President Thomas Boni Yayi, who is stepping down after serving two terms in office, the constitutional court said on Friday. The figures confirmed results that came out earlier in the week.

I will first and foremost tackle constitutional reform, Talon told reporters, reinforcing a promise made during campaigning. One term of five years would reduce presidential complacency, he said. Benin presidents can currently serve two five-year terms. The peaceful election was seen as reinforcing the democratic credentials of Benin, a bastion of stability in a region where elections are often marred by violence.

In Benin, to be a presidential candidate, it will be necessary to pay a deposit of 250 million CFA francs (about 380,000 euros), according to a proposal to reform the electoral code within three years of the presidential election. Two hundred and fifty million CFA francs (about 380,000 euros): this is the bond that will have to be paid by the candidates for the next presidential election in Benin, set in 2021. This is what the new reform of the electoral code adopted, 07 August 2018, by the National Assembly's National Assembly's Law Commission dominated by the ruling coalition. Until then, only 10,000 euros were required to run in a presidential election.

This new code had yet to be adopted in plenary by MEPs, but it is already provoking fierce controversy in public opinion and on social networks. The purpose of this new provision is to limit the number of applications in a country with nearly 150 political parties. According to Orden Alladatin, rapporteur of the commission of laws, close to power, this new electoral code aims to promote the consolidation of political forces. "You have to be able to contain the bunch of whimsical applications that have always been known in the past. We need to have strong parties and not individuals and strong men, "he said Thursday, on a Benin private television channel.

In the 2016 presidential election that ended with the victory in the second round of businessman Patrice Talon, 33 candidates ran for the highest office. A record number of candidates in the country's political history. But according to observers, this provision will result in the exclusion of citizens and create "a Republic of the rich". "The power believes that by raising the amount of bonds, it will prevent the multiplication of applications. It's a selection by money.

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