Benin polls: Oppo wins capital but gov’t commands majority nationwide

Benin's Autonomous National Electoral Commission (CENA) on Wednesday announced provisional results of Sunday's legislative elections with the opposition winning the…

Benin’s Autonomous National Electoral Commission (CENA) on Wednesday announced provisional results of Sunday’s legislative elections with the opposition winning the capital.According to the CENA, the Democrats of former President Boni Yayi won six of the nine seats up for grabs in Cotonou, the economic capital.

 Cotonou, the country’s largest electoral pool, offers the most MPs. 

The radical opposition LD party is trailed in Cotonou by the Progressive Union for Renewal (UPR) and the Republican Bloc (BR), all part of the ruling coalition. 

They obtained two seats and one seat respectively.

 The opposition party won convincingly in Cotonou but lost heavily at the national level. 

The provisional results give 28 seats to the opposition against 53 for UPR and 28 for BR, the two main political entities of the ruling coalition. 

In total, the presidential coalition won 81 seats compared to the opposition’s 28.

 This is the first election in which Boni Yayi’s party has participated since its creation in 2019. 

The party did not take part in the 2020 local elections and its candidacy was rejected for the 2021 presidential election over lack of sponsorship.

According to the provisional results announced by the electoral commission, of the seven political parties competing, only three were able to pass the 10 percent mark. 

Benin’s electoral law stipulates that at least 10 percent of the votes cast in an election are required to be elected. 

The UPR, BR and LD share the 109 MPs who will make up the ninth National Assembly in Benin.

 According to the CENA, the turnout for the January 8 legislative polls was 38.66 percent. 

A little over 2,500,000 voters out of an electoral population of 6,600,572 cast their ballot.

 A low turnout that is still higher than the controversial election in 2019 which was 27 percent according to the Constitutional Court.

After announcing the provisional results by the CENA on Wednesday, the Constitutional Court has a few days to examine any appeals before validating them.