On Sunday the people of Benin will be heading to the polls to elect new members of parliament.
The upcoming election has however been marred by controversy after the country’s electoral commission blocked all opposition parties from contesting.
With no opposition party candidates on the ballot, there are fears the country’s governance system could be weakened.
Not having an opposition party in parliament would mean no major restrictions or scrutiny of government policies.
The opposition parties have been agitating over their disqualification from the legislative election. They have held demonstrations in the capital city of Cotonou.
The electoral commission said it disqualified five opposition parties from contesting Sunday’s poll due to a technicality.
Only two parties will partake in the election but they are all allies or loyal to President Patrice Talon.
President Patrice Talon has been in power since 2016. In 2017 he failed in his attempt to reform his country’s constitution.
Talon wanted to reduce the current two five-year presidential term to just one six-year term since the current term limit encourages “complacency”.
A bill to effect that and other reforms failed to get the needed backing in Benin’s parliament.
Experts considered that development a major blow for Talon after promising to reduce the term limit in 2016.