Politics | Society
Fear of post-election violence in Benin
After a chaotic run-up to the presidential elections in Benin, with protests and delays over very incomplete electoral rolls, the 13 March ballot went along peacefully. The opposition however was shocked by the official results, giving an outright victory to incumbent President Boni Yayi, supposedly getting 53 percent of the votes.
On Friday, the UN's West Africa chief Said Djinnit warned against an escalation in Benin, saying he feared Côte d'Ivoire-like conditions in the country. The situation was "worrying" and the "incidents of violence" were steadily increasing, he warned. He warned against "a situation like in Côte d'Ivoire," calling for international pressure for a peaceful settlement of the conflict.
Today, Benin's Constitutional Court started examining the complaints filed by the opposition regarding election fraud. It is hoped that the court's treatment of the case could calm tempers somewhat in Benin, at least for a while.
The court has a relatively high standing in both political camps and is widely seen as being independent. Before the elections, the court sided with the opposition and ordered government to postpone elections until electoral rolls could become more complete, as demanded by the opposition. But the extension was rather short, which was seen as a compromise solution.
According to the complaint by Mr Houngbédji and a minor opposition leader, fraud was committed by denying "hundreds of thousands of voters" their right to vote, in addition to the stuffing of large amounts of fake ballots into boxes and the delivery of fake and unsealed ballot boxes to the electoral commission. The opposition claims to have proof of its allegations.
The opposition originally demanded the holding of a second poll round, but now is claiming the outright victory of its candidate, Mr Houngbédji. They now expect the court to declare him winner of the elections.
By staff writer
© afrol News
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