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Beninese vote in 1st legislative polls since return of opposition

Beninese citizen, Emilienne Atigbé, votes on January 8, 2022.   -  
Copyright © africanews
Valentin Salako/AP


Over six million Beninese were called to elect 109 MPs on Sunday (Jan. 08). The election marks the return of opposition candidates after a four-year absence.

After fifteen days of smooth campaigning, election day was calm. According to observersn, turnout is set to be lower than in 2019. The polling stations were to open at 6 AM GMT and close by 3 PM GMT.

Just over 6 million voters were called to vote. Dine Israêl, cast his ballot with high hopes.

"The members of the assembly must defend us. They will think of the population that suffers especially for food. That's what's important, because you have to eat before you can be strong."

According to the Afdb, growth is expected to reach 6.4% in 2023 in Benin. However, voters like want a better wealth sharing

"The member of the parliament I am voting for has made many promises and we want them to be kept. Our children only have to find a job. They go to university for one or two years and then they end up at home to sell communication units or to drive a motorcycle cab. We don't want that anymore."

Seven parties, three of which claim to be in opposition, are vying for the 109 seats in the National Assembly. 24 seats being reserved for women.

The parties that will receive over 10% of the votes will share the 109 seats, according to the proportional system.

The last legislative elections held in 2019 were marked by deadly violence, record abstention and a total shutdown of the internet, unprecedented situation in the west African nation.

The opposition was not allowed to participate in the elections due to a tightening of the voting rules. Back then, only two parties of the presidential camp were allowed to compete, resulting in a parliament entirely in favour of president Patrice Talon.

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