Opponents unite for Benin 2nd round vote

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%.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
Voting Booth
President Ramaphosa has punted the idea of mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations for South Africans. This is:
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
The right thing to do. We desperately need more South Africans vaccinated to prevent further mutations and restore normality in our lives.
72% - 7848 votes
A risky strategy. Compulsory vaccinations may have unintended consequences and damage our rollout campaign.
28% - 3086 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.