Benin PM faces run-off elections for presidency

Beninese prime minister to compete against businessman for second round of presidential elections

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Lionel Zinsou, Benin's Prime Minister and presidential candidate, speaks to journalists after casting his vote during the presidential election in Cotonou, Benin March 6, 2016.

Benin's Prime Minister Lionel Zinsou will compete against businessman Patrice Talon for the second round of presidential elections.

Lionel Zinsou got 28.4 percent of the votes while Talon won 24.8 percent of the votes in the first run, provisional results showed on Tuesday.

In the elections on Sunday, 33 candidates will contest in order to be elected Benin’s next president.

The current President Thomas Boni Yayi is stepping down from power in Burundi after two terms as mandated by the constitution.

Boni Yayi's decision to step down is an unexpected move in the region. In other African countries such as Burundi, Rwanda and the Congo Republic leaders have changed the national constitutions to run for a third term.

Zinsou and Talon will compete for the support of the candidates who came third and below. The date for the run-off is not announced yet.

The electoral commission’s provisional results must be confirmed by constitutional court. Challenge by one of the candidates might be possible, because Sebastien Ajavon won 23.03 percent and finished just behind Talon.

Benin was the first country to achieve democratical transition from dictatorship.

TRTWorld and agencies