Friday, March 11, 2016

Benin headed for runoff

As expected, none of the 33 candidates competing in Benin's presidential election last Sunday were able to achieve a majority on the first ballot.

Also as expected, Prime Minister Lionel Zinsou received a plurality, with 28.4% of the vote. Zinsou is outgoing president Yayi Boni's chosen successor, but he has been Prime Minister for less than a year and before that he was a banker in France, where he was born and raised (although he was also a Special Advisor to President Yayi Boni from 2006-2011; he is also the son of a former president of Benin).

Placing second, with 24.8% of the vote, was businessman Patrice Talon. Talon was once a major supporter of President Yayi Boni, until they had a falling out in 2012, due to allegations of a poisoning plot and Yayi Boni's hopes for a third term.

So Zinsou and Talon, each with more success in business than politics and a history with the outgoing president (himself a former banker), will face off in the coming weeks.

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