Sunday, March 20, 2016

Talon wins Benin presidential run-off

I didn't see that coming!

Patrice Talon won the run-off election in Benin.

I was pretty sure Lionel Zinsou would win, even though he was born in France, spent most of his life in France, and had never been elected to office before. He was appointed Prime Minister just 9 months ago, as the outgoing president, Yayi Boni, was grooming him to succeed him to the presidency.

Although Zinsou, from that description, doesn't sound like he would be a strong presidential candidate, Patrice Talon doesn't either. He also had never run for office before. He had been a major supporter of Yayi Boni, helping finance his first two elections, before they had a falling out. Talon accused Yayi Boni of trying for a third term (Benin has a two-term limit) and Yayi Boni accused Talon of embezzling $20 million and of conspiring to assassinate the president with poison. Before entering the presidential race, Talon was in exile in France for three years.

So although Zinsou didn't seem like a natural political star, neither did Talon. Furthermore, Zinsou was endorsed by the main ruling party and the main opposition party. So I was pretty confident he would win.

I'll write more later ...

1 comment:

  1. The president of Congo-Brazzaville was just "re-elected"...extending his 32 years in power. For all its flaws, it makes one appreciate Beninese politics.