Benin showed a brazen act of authoritarianism when it conducted an election that literally had no opposition at all. The only options which the candidates in the parliamentary elections had were parties allied to Prsident Patrice Talon.
Opposition candidates were completely absent, and the turnout was very low as a result. Opposition parties were excluded from the elections by tough new rules that classed their candidates as ineligible to stand, called on their supporters to boycott the polls in protest. The election was just solely designed to push all opposition away from contesting.
Rights groups say democracy is being destroyed totally. Despite a ban on demonsratrions, they were reported in Cotonou. In a further act of repression, the internet was shut down as the election was taking place.
Activists and journalists are being arrested.
Now, the opposition parties want the election to be annulled. Opposition figures grouped together and issued their demand on Monday evening after meeting in the main city, Cotonou. The group includes a number of high-profile figures, including former Presidents Boni Yayi and Nicéphore Soglo.
The country has shown a gravitation towards authoritarianism and democratic tenets are not being upheld.
Header image credit - DW