AFRICA/BENIN - Bishops' Conference wishes "Dialogue for free and transparent elections"

Tuesday, 26 January 2021 bishops   elections  

Porto-Novo (Agenzia Fides) - "The Bishops' Conference of Benin urges all political parties and institutions involved in the election for an open dialogue for a peaceful, genuinely inclusive, democratic and transparent presidential election", hope the Bishops of Benin in a joint declaration at the end of the second ordinary plenary Assembly, held from 19 to 22 January.
In the run-up to the presidential elections on April 11, the atmosphere in the country is tense, which is why the Bishops' Conference expressed "concern about the growing conflicts between political actors" and concerns about electoral lists, the election calendar and
According to the electoral law amended in November 2019, a candidate for the presidency must have the support of 10% of the mayors and / or members of parliament. However, the current composition of Parliament, which is composed entirely of MPs from the President's Party, calls into question the diversity of potential candidates for this year's election. This has been criticized by the opposition, while incumbent President Patrice Talon will probably not keep the promise made in April 2016 that he only wanted to serve one term in office.
Candidates have until 4 February to obtain the necessary approval and submit their application after the Constitutional Court of Benin failed to comply with the request to abolish the current system for candidates to the presidency.
A request shared by the Observatoire Chrétien Catholique de la Gouvernance (OCCG), which is responsible for the pastoral accompaniment of Catholic government members and officials, called for the abolition of the current sponsorship system on December 4th. "The OCCG urges the Parliament and the Constitutional Court to take the necessary measures for the abolition of legal aid because in the current context it raises problems that make it difficult to apply and organize a transparent, credible and peaceful presidential election" the organization demanded.
In December 2020, the opposition protested against the composition of the bodies responsible for organizing the vote. In 2019 the opposition parties boycotted the parliamentary elections. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 26/1/2021)