Reportage. Five million Beninese are required to participate in public opinion polls to elect the president. The voting was conducted in a tense country.
dSunday, in Benin, election day: the streets of the economic capital Cotonou are surprisingly empty all weekend. We have to wait until the evening to see the flood of people on the main roads of the city again. Otherwise, the polling station visited by TV6 News Afrique will not be crowded throughout the day. Except for one. A large number of onlookers, especially local and foreign media, gathered in the courtyard of the Charles-Guillot-Zongo public elementary school, which is located near the working class and is dominated by Muslims. All these dwarfs are restless, ing feet. When they found their names on the list, some leading voters were a little bit lost. Others seem to be more concerned about providing masks and gels to people who seem to be less concerned about Covid-19.
At 9:15 in the morning, traffic was cut off. The parade of black cars stopped. This is the early days of the country. Patrice Dragon Claw, 62 years old, was elected as his successor in 2016 and the candidate, who came with his wife when he arrived. The applause of the crowd could not shake the heavy sky of Cotonou. The presidential candidate selected a woman from the political museum in Benin as his running mate, Mariam Chabi Talata, to set an example for his countrymen. Patrice Talon said: “Benin is now a country with expertise in electoral organization.” As far as I know, it is progressing well across the country. If I have a message to my fellow citizens, it is that everyone wants to perform their duties and vote.
In any case, this sixty-year-old man realized his wish. “We have to go out to vote. This is our obligation as citizens since the 1990s. We have worked hard for this. After all, we are all Beninese. A young Benin girl, dressed in colorful clothes, has a childish face. , Just voted, the purple ink on his finger proved this point. “I’m not afraid. This is the north over there. Benin is my country and I have to vote. Indeed, at the beginning of the week, residents of several towns (the strongholds of the opposition) in the central and northern parts of the country blocked roads by setting up roadblocks. The army intervened and cleared the road with live ammunition. At least two civilians were killed and five others were injured.
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To reporters who asked him to comment on this violent behavior, the President pointed out a bit, and he replied: “People have mobilized […] Children, young people, and hunters attack the Republic. This is a symbol of our safety and the police. There are free demonstrations and no one tries to stop them. Therefore, when we use weapons, sometimes even weapons of war, to take people away, the police are injured. When you talk about the victims, it would have been nice to talk about the victims, including the injured police,” the outgoing president ruled, and he is now accused of dictatorship in this small West African country, appreciating his democratic practice after the KMT meeting.
“Our democratic system has been scorned, ma’am,” shouted a young man in a dark brown robe suit. He continued, “I tell you, people did not vote. They said that the president is in the first place and he will win.” He pointed his finger to the blackboard where the results have appeared. Among the 329 voters registered at the polling station, 73 voters from SikèSud Primary School and from Enagnon District participated in the vote. 59 ballots were invalid. “Here, we are in our country’s superior polling station, and it didn’t even mobilize voters! Not even his neighbors,” he lost his temper. Other young Beninese participated in the discussion, describing a depressing atmosphere that elections are no longer synonymous with parties, marches and snacks. “Before that, you must see that even when the voting is over, the ballot box will make a noisy sound. Everyone is fighting for their candidate. Then, we tasted the day around drinks. They said, this It’s simple, but always fun.
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For many Beninese, the lack of enthusiasm is because there are no heavyweights among the candidates. The main opposition figures were either exiled, condemned and imprisoned by the court, or prevented from running for election due to the new electoral law and institutional reforms. Fear is also heavy. In China, it is observed that the attendance rate of polling stations is very low. According to an on-the-spot reporter from Agence France-Presse, in Savoy in the north-central part of the country, “polling stations and ballot boxes were empty all day, and some were burned to death by strangers”. According to several military sources and civil society observation missions, in nearby Tchaourou, the stronghold of former President Thomas Boni Yayi, “polling stations have not yet been opened.” An international observer, who asked not to be named, said: “Beninese are not violent.” They went to mass sports this morning. But despite the tension, everything will be fine and there will be peace. “We want peace” is one of the most popular verses.
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Five million voters were asked to make a decision, including three pairs of candidates including Patrice Talon, as well as former MPs Corentin Kohoué and Alassane Su Two opponents of Alassane Soumanou Djimba (Alassane Soumanou Djimba), now they do not have any specific voting rights. However, nicknamed “Djimba”, he is a Muslim in the north of the country, representing the Karis force of the emerging Benin (FCBE) party, which was once led by the former head of state Thomas Boni Yayi (Thomas Boni Yayi) The largest opposition political organization. “If I were not elected president, would it be because of the Patrice Raptor, but because of the human,” he warned. And “If Eagle Claw is elected?” I will call him and congratulate him. »
As for Corentin Kohoué, 67, before joining the presidential election, he first served as a civil administrator for a long career. “I am not a photographer. I don’t like projectors,” he often said. However, a member of the Democratic Party, former President Yayi’s new party, Corentin Kohoué, the deputy of the two prefects, who decided the document, had just introduced his dissident candidate a few days before the election committee filed. It appeared under the banner of “restoring confidence”, a new political movement in Benin that was unknown until then. He is a former Communist Party member who has received economics training in Benin, Hungary and France. During the campaign, he opposed Patrice Talon’s “capitalist” and severely criticized what he achieved during his five-year term. Achievements, especially “his way is too expensive”, “this is simply window decoration”.
“You know, people in Benin like to be afraid of playing, and laughed at a polling station coordinator on the 12th.E In the Capital Region, watching the arrival of voters drop by drop. Here, we like suspense. Cena is not ready yet, or candidates are arguing. “We even canceled several elections overnight,” said a guerrilla party member who was linked to the presidential camp.