Tag Archives: Thomas Boni Yayi

Voting starts in Benin


Benin’s Prime Minister Lionel Zinsou, a French-Beninese investment banker, waves during a rally after being nominated to fly the party flag for the forthcoming presidential election in Cotonou, January 31, 2016Image copyrightAFP/Getty Images
Former banking chief Lionel Zinsou is running on behalf of the ruling party
Polls have opened in Benin’s general election, with 33 candidates fighting to become president.
Thomas Boni Yayi is stepping down as leader in the West African nation of 10.6m people after two terms.
The ruling party’s candidate is Prime Minister Lionel Zinsou, who used to head France’s largest investment bank.
The election was delayed after problems with the distribution of polling cards, an issue that continued until the day before the vote.
Mr Zinsou, who is Franco-Beninese, is considered as “France’s candidate” by his detractors, RFI reports. Benin gained independence from France in 1960.

The former head of the West African Development Bank Abdoulaye Bio Tchane is in the running
Job creation and anti-corruption drives are two of the main promises being made by candidates.
Among other leading candidates are two prominent businessmen, Sebastien Avajon and Patrice Talon, as well as economist Abdoulaye Bio Tchane and financier Pascal Irenee Koupaki.
Benin’s constitution barred Mr Boni Yayi from seeking a third term, although he had tentatively sought changes to the text allowing him to do so.
The rulers of other African countries such as Burundi, Rwanda and Congo-Brazzaville have recently changed their constitutions to allow third terms.Accessibility links

Benin takes AU chair at Addis summit


African Union leaders are meeting for their first summit since the death of Muammar Gaddafi, the bloc’s founder, with the selection of top officials and discussion of crises on the continent dominating the agenda.

The leaders, gathered in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, on Sunday for a two-day summit have choosen Thomas Boni Yayi, Benin’s president, as the 54-member bloc’s new chairman.

“The development of our continent is in our hands my dear presidents…it is in unity and cohesion that our continent will ensure its development

– Thomas Boni Yayi, president of Benin

Yayi, who succeeded Equatorial Guinea’s President Teodoro Obiang Nguema AU chairman, said he wanted to “ensure that peace comes back our continent,” as he accepted the post with “humility” for “the high responsibility.”

“We shall continue to work hand in glove to ensure that we consolidate all what we have achieved so far,” Yayi said.

War-torn Somaliaoil disputes between Sudan and South Sudan,violence in Nigeria and riots in Senegal in response to the president’s determination to cling onto power, are also expected to be addressed in sideline talks.

“The development of our continent is in our hands my dear presidents…it is in unity and cohesion that our continent will ensure its development,” Yayi added, urging peace in Sudan and South Sudan, the Sahel region and in Nigeria.

The AU chairmanship rotates among African leaders and is held for one year, but intense lobbying continues ahead of a vote for the top job, the head of the bloc’s executive arm, the AU Commission.  Read more…