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Benin: Talon set for April 11 poll victory with opposition sidelined

By Matthieu Millecamps, in Cotonou and Honoré Banda
Posted on Monday, 5 April 2021 10:32

Benin's President Patrice Talon attends a UEMOA (West African Economic and Monetary Union) meeting in Abidjan
Benin's President Patrice Talon attends in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, April 10, 2017, REUTERS/Thierry Gouegnon

Despite his earlier promises to govern for only a single term, Benin’s President Patrice Talon is standing for re-election on 11 April and looks to be heading towards victory. Talon’s economic record remains strong and he has sidelined the opposition.

Striding across the stage of the Palais des Congrès, dressed in a safari suit, in December, Talon had all the nonchalance of a Silicon Valley CEO. What he is most proud of, he claims, is “creating a dynamic”: “In reality, this is our greatest achievement – our reforms. Building kilometres of road is not much; bringing water to people – of course it’s vital; but what is most important is to ensure the survival and development of our eternal nation forever.”

New infrastructure and confidence-building