Opponents unite for Benin 2nd round vote

2016-03-14 18:01
A file picture shows cotton tycoon and presidential candidate Patrice Talon in Cotonou. (Pius Utomi Ekpei, AFP)

A file picture shows cotton tycoon and presidential candidate Patrice Talon in Cotonou. (Pius Utomi Ekpei, AFP)

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

Cotonou - Businessman Patrice Talon will team up with his beaten opponent Sebastien Ajavon to take on Prime Minister Lionel Zinsou in the second round of Benin's presidential election.

Zinsou and Talon go head-to-head this Sunday in the battle for the country's top job after winning the most votes in the first round held on March 6. Ajavon was placed third.

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

"We're going to win together, we're going to reconstruct our country together," said Talon, who made his fortune in the cotton industry.

Ajavon, a agricultural feed magnate, for his part said he was backing Talon and would support him in the second round.

The development could pose problems for Zinsou as Talon won 23.52% of the overall vote in the first round and Ajavon 22.07%t. Zinsou placed first on 27.11%.

Zinsou's main opponents have previously vowed to support whoever among them came out top in the first round in the second-round run-off against President Thomas Boni Yayi's chosen candidate.

Boni Yayi is stepping down after completing two full five-year terms of office.

Talon also called on the economist Abdoulaye Bio Tchane, who won 8.29% of the votes and the former prime minister Pascal Irenee Koupaki (5.6%) to join them.

Zinsou, who quit as head of France's biggest investment bank last year to become prime minister, has been described by critics as France's preferred candidate in its former colony.

He said candidates were often voted for on the strength of their record in office in the first round but in the second it was a contest between two people "for the future" of the country.

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%.

Read more on:    patrice talon  |  benin  |  west africa

Inside News24

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 24.com network.