ECOWAS Expresses Displeasure over Political Situation in Benin

Members of the ECOWAS Parliament have expressed displeasure in the political situation in Benin following the presentation of the country’s Report from the Beninese delegation of the parliament.

The members expressed their displeasure at the ongoing Ordinary Session of the parliament in Abuja.

Members said that the stable and vibrant political scene of Benin Republic had long made it a model for democracy in the region.

However, there were reports of violence in the course of the country’s parliamentary elections held on April 28, which caught the attention of civil society and rights groups inside and outside Benin.

Amnesty International, ahead of the elections, stated that the wave of arbitrary arrests of political activists and journalists, and the crackdown on peaceful protests, had reached an alarming level.

The country had, reportedly, been undergoing political reforms designed to deepen the democratic practice in the nation.

Members said the reforms, or the revised electoral rules, led to a reduction of parties from more than 250 to just two that took part in the election, and both aligned with President Patrice Talon.

The representative of the Beninese delegation, Mr Youssoufou Nouhoume, however, explained that out of the many parties that applied for registration, only a few were successful both at the Ministry of Interior and the National Electoral Commission.

In his reaction, Mr Edwin Snowe representing Liberia proposed that the parliament send a fact-finding mission to Benin and the findings reported to the ECOWAS Parliament.

Mr Mahama Ayariga representing Ghana, nevertheless, proposed that the parliamentarians be mindful of the procedures of the parliament.

Ayariga appealed with members of the parliament to adopt the report and move the motion to set up a group to investigate in that country and report back to the parliament.

He also suggested that a resolution condemning what happened in that country be passed and have it communicated to the country’s leadership.

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