Benin president Patrice Talon has insisted that he has no intention of pursuing a third mandate in 2026.
In an interview with RFI and France 24, Talon dismissed suggestions that the April election was a charade, declaring that it was a ‘vote of support for me.’
Benin’s constitutional court confirmed President Talon’s re-election with 86 percent of votes from the April 11 poll.
Talon, together with Mariam Chabi Talata as the vice president, garnered 1,982,534 votes of the total 2,297,315 valid votes cast, according to the court.
Although only 50 per cent of those eligible turned out to vote, compared to a 65% turnout five years ago, Talon said the turnout was ‘satisfactory’, considering ‘the conditions.
He described the campaign environment as “quite bad, [with] threats, violence, intoxication”. He also declared that for the first time in many years, “money was not the main attraction for voters.”
Challenged about the fact that all his main opponents were either in exile to escape imprisonment or behind bars in Benin, apart from former president Thomas Boni Yayi, Talon dismissed accusations that democracy was in retreat in Benin and that he was responsible.
Instead, he maintained that some politicians, called to ‘account for their actions’ had chosen exile rather than to face justice.