Voters turnout for parliamentary election
After the 13th March presidential election in which president Boni Yayi was returned to office, the 3.6 million voters of Benin will vote for a new parliament today.
The opposition, united under Adrien Houngbedji, who lost the presidential election last month, are hoping to hold on to their majority in parliament. Currently the opposition hold 49 of the 83 seats in the parliament to the 34 held by the president’s party.
There are said to be 1600 candidates vying for the 83 seats and voting takes place between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. local time.
Although Benin has a good record for free and fair elections, some international NGOs have expressed concern about the process conducted by the Autonomous National Electoral Commission (CENA) on this occasion. They have commented on the lack of voters lists being displayed at polling stations, the access to polling stations and other infringements.
President Boni Yayi has said that he needs a majority in the parliament in his second and last term to push through his agenda for improving the country.