Pandemic elections in Benin

In Benin, voters went to the polls without much enthusiasm on Sunday, May 17, to elect their municipal councilors. The poll was marred by the risk of coronavirus infection and calls for boycotts from several opposition parties. Polling stations opened this morning in Cotonou and the rest of the country for the communal elections.
Voters did not turn out in large numbers at the polls, partly because of the risk of Covid-19 spreading.
In opposition strongholds, notably in Tchaourou, or the Cadjehoun district of Cotonou, stronghold of former president Boni Yayi, participation did not exceed 10%, AFP noted.
Throughout the campaign, which was conducted virtually door-to-door and meetings were banned, the opposition demanded that the elections be postponed.
However, the turnout remains average, as noted by several observers after the counting of the ballots in several polling stations. Final results are expected in a week.
Joël Atayi-Guèdègbé, president of the Beninese NGO ‘‘Nouvelle éthique’’ and specialist in electoral issues, considered that the risk was “in the behavior of men” and wondered about the training set up to respect the rules of social distancing.
For the moment, Benin has been little affected by Covid-19 with 339 confirmed cases and two deaths.

About Geraldine Boechat 2716 Articles
Senior Editor for Medafrica Times and former journalist for Swiss National Television. former NGO team leader in Burundi and Somalia