Benin. In March, according to thereligionfaqs, Benin residents went to election to appoint a successor to President Thomas Boni Yayi who could not be re-elected after two terms. In the first round, there were 33 candidates, including Prime Minister Lionel Zinsou, supported by Yayi.
However, Zinsou was clearly defeated by businessman Patrice Talon in the second round on March 20. Talon received 65% of the vote and had the backing of several candidates in the first round. Talon, who had great interests in the cotton industry, had returned in October 2015 after several years in exile, accused of participating in a plot against Yayi.
When he took office in April, Talon appointed a smaller government with 16 ministers compared to the representative’s 28.
According to countryaah, the current population of Benin is 12,123,211. Talon says he wants to work for constitutional changes that would, among other things, limit the president’s term of office to a five-year term of office to counteract “self-satisfaction”. The government’s challenges are to combat corruption and boost cotton production, which accounts for about 12% of GDP and a quarter of exports. In June, the cotton industry was privatized after several years of state control.
Politics – The departure of Mathieu Kérékou, almost continuously in power since 1972, first as dictator (until 1990) then as president (1996-2006), closed a phase in the history of the country which had reached substantial political-institutional stability, even in a permanent context of strong underdevelopment and widespread poverty. The election of Thomas Boni Yayi, who presented himself as independent in the 2006 consultations and won the second round with 75% of the votes, was a further step in this direction. Economist, former president of the West African Development Bank, Boni placed the fight against corruption and the revitalization of the economy among the priorities of his government agenda. to be implemented through privatization programs and microcredit incentives and through the improvement of commercial relations with neighboring countries. Having won a second term in 2011 with 53% of the votes in the first round, Boni abolished the death penalty and in 2012 was appointed president of the African Union for a year. Despite international recognition, on the domestic level Boni encountered growing resistance also due to the repressive measures put in place after the discovery of an alleged plot against him. The constitutional reform project aimed at allowing the possibility of a third presidential term also aroused particular concern. In December 2013, the bloody repression of the peaceful march organized by trade unions to obtain wage increases led to the proclamation of a general strike, which lasted for over four weeks, during which economic demands were joined by protests against corruption and attacks on personal freedoms. In May 2014 the Benin participated together with Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, Niger in the meeting held in Paris to elaborate a regional action plan to fight the Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram.