Benin’s president launches national political dialogue in parallel to counter-dialogue

Monday, October 14th, 2019 00:07 | By
Benin's President Patrice Talon delivers his speech during the official opening of a political dialogue in Cotonou, Benin, Oct. 10, 2019. (Xinhua/ Seraphin Zounyekpe)

   Benin's President Patrice Talon launched a national political dialogue here on Thursday in parallel to a counter-dialogue by the opposition parties. 

The political dialogue gathered eight legally existing parties, including the ruling party and allies as well as some opposition parties, to solve the socio-political crisis that has disrupted the country since the April general elections. 

"The political dialogue, to which I invite you, is rooted in the will of our people to see their political actors live up to the challenges," the president said in the opening speech. 

The national dialogue called by the government is aimed at reviewing controversial electoral laws, notably the charter of political parties and the election code, as only two blocs of parties allied to the government participated in the elections that elected 83 representatives on April 28.

The opposition parties, excluded from the process for no compliance with the provisions in the new charter of political parties, launched a counter-dialogue on Thursday led by the country's former President Nicephore Soglo. 

A national political dialogue without the opposition "is non-consensual and is meaningless," said Soglo. 

"No dialogue can be envisaged without rerunning the legislative elections so as to give voice to the people and enable them to choose their representatives," (Xinhua)

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