Zuma Felicitates Benin Republic President-Elect Patrice Talon


President-elect of the Republic of Benin Patrice Talon has been congratulated by President Jacob Zuma. Zuma felicitated with Talon after the out-of-favour presidential candidate won the Sunday runoff election in Benin Republic.

Speaking in a statement, South Africa’s International Relations and Co-operation Department spokesperson Clayson Monyela said President Zuma would work closely with Talon to enhance bilateral relations between the two countries, with a focus on strengthening economic co-operation.

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Meanwhile, the African Union and Economic Community of West African States election observer teams declared the Benin Republic elections peaceful.

Newly-elected President Patrice Talon defeated Prime Minister Lionel Zinsou. The victorious business mogul was elected after the second-round-run-off of the presidential elections held on March 20.

Zinsou and Talon competed in a second-round run-off vote after both contestants failed to win an outright majority in the first round of voting on March 6.

Though Zinsou, who was powerfully backed by incumbent President Boni Yayi lost the election, he however said that he has congratulated Talon.

“I called Patrice Talon tonight to congratulate him on his victory and wish him luck,” Zinsou said in a statement on his Facebook page.

The head of Benin’s independent electoral commission, Emmanuel Tiando, later said that Talon won 65.39% of the vote, with Zinsou on 34.61%.

Following his victory, Talon, in a statement issued on his Facebook page, declared himself “proud of my homeland Benin which has once again shown its attachment to democracy“.

He also thanked his supporters and promised “we are embarking together on a new beginning, one of fraternity, of justice and of shared effort.

He then congratulated Zinsou “for his performance in the campaign and for his fair play.”

Benin Republic election has been hailed as an example for democracy in action.

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