Back in the National Assembly of Benin, the opposition to Patrice Talon intends to be heard. But will it have any political weight?
In Benin, in 2019, the Progressive Union and the Republican Bloc shared the 83 seats of deputies in the National Assembly. An unprecedented situation, which owed a lot to the Autonomous National Electoral Commission (CENA), which had authorized only two parties to present candidates. Two parties supporting… Beninese President Patrice Talon. The opposition had been pushed aside, ahead of the election campaign.
Four years later, the Assembly went from 83 to 109 seats. One novelty leading to another, opposition parties were able to return to the grounds of the palace of the governors of Porto-Novo. Three days ago, the elected officials made their parliamentary return. Among them were 28 from the opposition.
The installation ceremony quickly gave way to the election of officers. And, as expected, the opposition has not really succeeded in imposing itself: it will only have one position out of the seven in the office. The Democrats, the party of former Beninese President Boni Yayi, have a consolation prize with the second vice-presidency of the Assembly.
If the entry into the palace was eventful – music and cries of the voters accompanied the event – the mission of the opposition risks being a little more delicate. Admittedly, the Democrats have mentioned “political prisoners like Reckya Madougou sentenced to twenty years” or even the “deep wounds” of Benin. But after the speeches, taking action will be difficult, given the composition of the Assembly, which is mainly in favor of Talon.
Already, the opposition has called for the creation of a National Committee for Reconciliation and Forgiveness. "We have a duty to speak with the Head of State who is the father of the nation, for a measure of immediate release of our compatriots in difficult situations, for the return to the country of our exiles," declared MP Nourénou Atchadé, president of the parliamentary group of the Democrats.