The provisional list of candidates selected by the National Autonomous Electoral Commission, CENA, was published on Friday, February 12, 2021. The sponsorship system undermines the electoral process according to opponents who continue to challenge the new system. President Patrice Talon will thus have two opponents in the presidential election of April 2021. Only three of the twenty candidates submitted were selected by the Beninese Electoral Commission. Woman politician Reckya Madougou, candidate of the party “Les Démocrates” evokes a vote locked by the central power of Cotonou. Below is the full message:
My dear fellow countrymen,
I am speaking to you, convictions that are forever fixed in body, energy mobilized, and more than anything motivated by deep love for our country.
As the people of Benin prepare to take part in a presidential election that the outgoing President wishes to see unopposed, it is important to remind all stakeholders of the need to ensure that the electoral process is inclusive, transparent, fair and credible.
All the actors in charge of the organization of the vote will have to show impartiality and avoid being subordinated. The entire political class, as well as the defence and security forces, must refrain from any action that could threaten the physical integrity and tranquility of the people of Benin or compromise our living together.
I have no doubt that the Republican police and our army will make us proud. At least I wish them well. I would hope that no more blood will be shed in this country in an election.
As far as our application is concerned, as you already know, we submitted a file in good standing and the CENA only notified us of the lack of sponsorships. This is a reminder that all of our sponsorship efforts have not been successful. The sponsorship cards of the deputies and mayors who are responsible for sponsoring were simply confiscated by the leaders of the political parties of the mobility.Worse still, all of the elected officials able to sponsor the candidates granted their sponsorship to three candidates, all of whom were members of the presidential and allied movements.
If we are committed to promoting our democracy in the concert of nations, we must be able to guarantee and preserve the right of all Beninese people to participate freely, through the forthcoming presidential election, the conduct of our country’s public affairs; to protect fundamental rights. Moreover, all opponents in exile should be able to return safely and unconditionally. The situation of our compatriots imprisoned for their political opinions is also among the concerns of the «Democrats» party.
The Beninese people are a free people. They will not accept the control of a single thought on this electoral campaign. We will not be denied a third election.