Businessperson sworn in as Benin's president
06 April 2016, 22:41
Porto-Novo - Businessperson
Patrice Talon was sworn in as Benin's president before a large crowd on
Wednesday, saying he would foster economic development and fight
corruption and terrorism during what he pledged would be his only term
can serve two terms but Talon has said he will step down after five
years to avoid "complacency" and seek to limit future presidents to a
The West African
country is seen as a bastion of democracy and stability in a troubled
region where military coups are a regular occurrence and polls are often
marred by violence.
will be a mandate of rupture, transition and reforms," said Talon,
adding that he would strive to combat corruption, improve the economy
and fight terrorism.
"I will make
diplomacy an instrument of co-operation for development," he told a crowd
estimated by organizers at 20 000 at the ceremony in the capital
contributes to a multinational task force fighting Boko Haram, a
militant group that is based in the northeast of the country's giant neighbour Nigeria.
Talon is a cotton
magnate who handily beat former prime minister Lionel Zinsou in a
run-off election last month. Zinsou was the preferred choice of former
president Thomas Boni Yayi, who stepped down after 10 years in power.
for energy and water resigned in May amid a corruption scandal that
caused the Netherlands to suspend aid after $4m went missing in
2014 from a project to improve the nation's water supplies.
who was educated in Senegal and France, once supported Boni Yayi but
the two fell out and the then president accused him of being involved
with a plot to poison him.
Talon sought exile in France but was later pardoned, returning to Benin in October.