Benin’s Electoral Commission says the first results from Sunday’s presidential elections should be out by Tuesday.
The polls were relatively peaceful as no cases of violence were recorded.
“We hope that we can reach the major trends (the vote) tomorrow,” said Geneviève-Nadjo Boco, Vice President of the Autonomous National Electoral Commission.
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Benin’s constitution imposes a two-term limit on presidents. As a result, President Thomas Boni Yayi did not run for another term – a sharp contrast to other African leaders who change their constitutions to remain in power.
Five of the 33 candidates who contested Sunday’s polls are highly tipped to win. They are outgoing Prime Minister Lionel Zinsou, two of the country’s biggest local businessmen, Patrice Talon and Sébastien Ajavon and two international bankers, Abdoulaye Bio Tchane and Pascal Irenee Koupaki.
The first round of voting originally scheduled for February 28 was postponed by a week due to delays in the production and distribution of voter ID cards and other election materials.
On the eve of the polls, many voters had not yet received their new voting cards, sparking fears that sections of the population would be excluded from the vote.
But the Electoral Commission allowed people to vote with their old cards and national identity cards.