Presidential opponent elected head of Benin's parliament

2015-05-20 15:59

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cotonou - Opposition leader Adrien Houngbedji was on Wednesday elected head of Benin's national assembly, possibly threatening the president's hopes of pushing through a controversial amendment to the constitution.

Houngbedji, of the Democratic Renewal Party (PRD), won 42 of the 83 votes cast, beating Komi Kotche, who was backed by Benin's President Thomas Boni Yayi and his Cowry Forces for an Emerging Benin (FCBE), by just one vote.

"Adrien Houngbedji is elected president of the national assembly," said lawmaker Rosine Vieyra Soglo after the vote, which ran into the early hours of Wednesday.

Boni Yayi has been campaigning for a constitutional reform bill that he says would help curb corruption but which his opponents say is actually aimed at scrapping presidential term limits, allowing him to stand for a third term in polls next year.

Boni Yayi has always denied wanting to extend his time in power.

Constitutional amendment

The reform bill needs to be approved by lawmakers, so having an opposition leader at the head of parliament could serve as a potential roadblock to Boni Yayi's much desired constitutional amendment.

The president's FCBE won last month's parliamentary elections but did not obtain an absolute majority, securing just 33 seats out of 83 available.

The PRD only won 10 seats but managed to secure the backing of several smaller opposition parties for the national assembly presidency vote.

Houngbedji, who ran for president in 2011 and won 36% of the vote, has been head of the national assembly on two previous occasions (1991-95 and 1999-2003).

Benin's Constitutional Court meanwhile announced on Tuesday that municipal and local elections scheduled for May 31 will now be held on June 28.

The delay follows a request from the country's electoral commission because schools used as polling stations will not be available due to end-of-term examinations in early June.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Men.24 Model of the Week: Wendy from Cape Town

Find out more about our featured model, Wendy from Cape Town


You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
WATCH: Pornhub is giving users free access to premium content these holidays
5 top leg exercises for men
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.