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Businessman Talon receives major backing ahead of Benin's March 20 run-off

Businessman Talon receives major backing ahead of Benin's March 20 run-off

Benin

As Benin gears up for the second round of its presidential election, businessman Patrice Talon has teamed up with 24 other candidates to take on Prime Minister Lionel Zinsou.

Businessman Sébastien Ajavon, Economist Abdoulaye Bio Tchané and the Ex-Prime Minister Pascal Irenée Koupaki announced this on Monday together with 21 other candidates.

The new alliance is seen as an obstacle against Lionel Zinsou’s possible victory.

We're going to win together, we're going to reconstruct our country together.

Zinsou and Talon are expected to go head-to-head this Sunday in the battle for the country’s top political job after winning the most votes in the first round held on March 6th, a vote which left Ajavon in third position.

Reacting to the official results announced by the Constitutional Court on Sunday, Talon said Ajavon was a great man and a great business operator adding that he counted on him for the next stage.

“We’re going to win together, we’re going to reconstruct our country together,” he said.

Even though Zinsou placed first with 27.11 percent of votes cast in the first round, analysts say the new development could pose problems for him because Talon won 23.52 percent of votes in the first round and Ajavon 22.07 percent.

Zinsou’s main opponents have previously vowed to support whoever among them came out top in the first round of the second-round run-off election.

His team said it remained “confident and calm” and were looking to mobilise non-voters to win the second round.

According to the electoral commission, turn-out in the first round was 64.03 percent.

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