Benin’s former President, Yayi Boni on November 28, 2023 held talks with current leader, Patrice Talon.
Yayi Boni was accompanied to the parley by senior members of his opposition party, Les Democrates. The meeting was organised after Boni demanded a review of the electoral register and amnesty for exiled political opponents. And so last month’s talks were significant for several reasons.
That the arch political enemies met for the first time in two years. As the country looks forward to crucial general elections in 2026. That the talks could help to thaw relations between the two former friends and political allies. And also the tense political atmosphere in the West African nation. That the meeting might open up prospects for further discussions on other sticking points like the situation of exiled opposition politicians. A good number of whom have been barred by the authorities from running for office.
Benin was the first African nation to organise a Sovereign National Conference in February 1990. At a time there were growing demands across the continent for more accountable leadership and governance. And the opening up of political ecosystems for multi-party democracy. Benin would later go on to become a shining example in Africa’s democratic experience. With the holding of polls generally ackn...