Africa

Benin opposition wins seats in parliament …

Benin’s opposition has returned to parlia­ment after a four-year absence, winning 28 seats in elections dominated by President Patrice Talon’s al­lies, according to preliminary results.

Sunday’s election was a test for the West African state where Talon has promoted develop­ment, but critics say his pro­gramme has come at a cost to Benin’s once thriving multiparty democracy.

The main opposition party, Les Democrates, won 28 seats, while the Republican Bloc (BR) and Progressive Union for Renewal (UP-R) parties allied with Talon together won 81 seats, the CENA electoral authority said on Wednesday.

None of the remaining four parties competing for the 109 seats gathered enough votes to meet the 10 percent threshold for parlia­mentary representation.

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Final results are expected on Friday after a vote that went ahead peacefully and in line with the regulations, ac­cording to election observers from the regional bloc, Eco­nomic Community of West African States or ECOWAS.

Voter turnout in the polls was a low 38.66 per cent, the electoral commission said, despite analysts predicting it would be higher as more parties were involved. -Aljazeera

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