In Benin, five appeals by citizens and opponents were submitted to the Constitutional Court to challenge the rule of sponsorship required to run in the April 11 presidential election.
as reported from Cotonou, Jean-Luc Aplogan
Since the amendment of the electoral law in November 2019, political parties must collect 16 sponsorships in order to present a candidate for the presidential election in Benin. A measure that has taken the wind out of civil society and several opponents, because if the rule is upheld, only President Patrice Talon can fulfill this obligation today.
Five appeals were therefore lodged with the Constitutional Court to declare that the provisions and the principle of sponsorship of the candidacy for the presidency could not be applied. Given that the 83 deputies and more than 90% of the local elected representatives are from Patrice Talonthe president risks being the only candidate in the vote.
“An attack on the sovereignty of the people”
Nourou Dine Saka, a lieutenant for Boni Yayi and the petitioner, claims it in the name of “equality of citizens”. For her part, Nadin Kokodé, from the Benin diaspora, condemns “an attack on the sovereignty of the people”. He details that the parliament that introduced this reform was monochromatic.
As early as September, civil society mobilized against this new method of sponsorship. She had launched the operation “Leave it to choose2021”, without results so far.
During his national tour, Patrice Talona promised “everyone’s participation” in the vote, adding that “FCBE and especially the Democrats, Boni Yayi’s new party waiting to have its legal existence, will go to the polls”.
The five appeals are currently before a court of law before the court, then they will be heard and then studied.