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Benin's presidential poll postponed to March 6

12 February 2016, 14:23

Cotonou - The first round of voting in Benin's presidential elections, scheduled for the end of this month, has been postponed by a week to March 6, the country's constitutional court has said.

The postponement was due to the delay in distributing voter cards, the court said in a statement late Thursday.

The court said it had "authorised the postponement of the 2016 presidential elections earlier scheduled for Sunday February 28 to Sunday March 6."

Opposition candidates had earlier called for a date shift following the delay in the production and distribution of voter cards to 4.6 million eligible voters.

Leading a 33-strong candidate line-up is current Prime Minister Lionel Zinsou, a French-Beninese investment banker who has been nominated as the ruling party FCBE (Cowrie Forces for an Emerging Benin) candidate.

Some critics have claimed Zinzou was "parachuted" in by former colonial power France, where he has spent most of his career.

Also standing are Patrice Talon, a cotton tycoon, and food magnate Sebastien Ajavon, as well as economist Abdoulaye Bio Tchane, a former head of the West African Development Bank.

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