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Benin's Constitutional Court rejects appeal by opposition against results of legislative polls

Benin's Constitutional Court rejects appeal by opposition against results of legislative polls
Real political battle must be fought in National Assembly, despite opposition representing a minority, says expert

By Aurore Bonny

DOUALA, Cameroon (AA ) - Benin’s Constitutional Court has rejected an appeal by the country’s main opposition Democratic Party against the recent results of legislative elections following a public hearing.

The election results were published on Jan. 8 by the Commission Electorale Nationale Autonome (CENA), or Autonomous National Electoral Commission.

Several provisions of the electoral code allow any political party to immediately have access to the results of the election and electoral documents, said the Constitutional Court.

But the opposition has claimed that its representatives have not received these documents on the polls, the results of which give a large majority to the ruling party.

In the “absence of evidence,” the Constitutional Court considered that "there is therefore reason to reject the appeal."

The opposition has claimed that vote buying and fraud allowed allies of President Patrice Talon to win a majority of seats in the legislature.

The elections marked the return of the opposition to the electoral arena after four years of deprivation. With a turnout of 37.79%, the Democratic Party was able to win 28 seats, while the pro-Talon Republican Bloc and Progressive Union for Renewal parties together won 81 of the 109 seats in parliament.

"But this comeback due to the mobilization of the opposition electorate was not enough for the Democrats, the only force opposed to Patrice Talon's government, to sing the praises of political pluralism," Regis Hounkpe, a Beninese geopolitical expert, said in a phone conversation with Anadolu.

Hounkpe believes that the "real political fight" for the opposition will have to be in the National Assembly, even if they represent a significant minority.

He said they will have to prove their capacity to constitute a real alternative with a vision and a political offer.

"But it is certain that their current challenges to the outcome of the legislative elections will agitate the political landscape," he added.

source: News Feed
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