Benin’s President Patrice Talon had previously vowed to serve only one term in office but he now seeks a second term of five more years in Sunday’s election.
He is the favourite to win the race to rule the West African nation considered by many to be one of the continent’s model democracies.
Talon in 2017 a year after he was elected in 2016 failed in his attempt to reform his country’s constitution.
Reducing the current two five-year presidential term to just one six-year term was among the reforms he was seeking.
President Talon had said that the current term limit encourages “complacency”.
He was hoping his move will ensure frequent change at the helm of the state and guarantee peace and security.
But the bill to effect the change was defeated in parliament with a lawmaker Orou Kate at the time saying “The people don’t want this, the president needs to scrap this bill and go back to consult the population.”
Failing to fulfill his promise of serving just one term of six year, President Talon says he needs another term to consolidate the gains of his first.
“I will be a candidate to strengthen this good governance that we have just acquired, and which allows us to start building up our country,” he said during a tour of southern Benin.
The only two opposition candidates on the ballot are Alassane Soumanou, a minister under Boni Yayi, and Corentin Kohoue, a veteran politician.
Talon has been criticized for some of his political reforms that prevent opposition participation in the governance system.
In 2019, all opposition parties were disqualified from running in national assembly elections with his supporters now controlling all 83 seats in the house.
Benin is a major West African top cotton exporter with President Talon himself, a multi-millionaire cotton magnate.
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