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Benin PM concedes defeat after run-off

Benin’s outgoing Prime Minister Lionel Zinsou has conceded defeat to businessman Patrice Talon in Sunday’s presidential run-off.

Lionel Zinsou vs Patrice Talon
Lionel Zinsou vs Patrice Talon

Mr Zinsou posted on Facebook that he had called Mr Talon to congratulate him “on his victory and wish him luck”.

President Thomas Boni Yayi is stepping down after two terms.

Polls took place in four other African countries over the weekend, including Congo-Brazzaville, Cape Verde, Niger and Tanzania’s Zanzibar islands.

Mr Talon, known as the “king of cotton”, used to be a close ally of Mr Boni Yayi, but was accused of masterminding a plot to poison him in 2012.

“The provisional results point to a decisive victory for Patrice Talon; the difference is significant, electoral victory is certain” Mr Zinsou told the AFP news agency by telephone.

This is a turnaround from the first round vote last month when Mr Talon came slightly behind Mr Zinsou with 25% compared to his 28%.

Benin’s electoral commission is expected to formally announce the provisional results later on Monday.

Cape Verde’s opposition victorious

The opposition also won in Cape Verde’s elections on Sunday.

The Movement for Democracy (MPD) has won an absolute majority, defeating the governing African Party for the Independence of Cape Verde (PAICV) for the first time in 15 years.

Zanzibar’s 90% victory

Sunday’s vote in Tanzania’s semi-autonomous archipelago of Zanzibar was a re-run after the results of disputed local elections in October were cancelled.

Incumbent President Ali Mohamed Shein has won a landslide victory, with the governing CCM party taking more than 90% of the vote in a disputed re-run.

The opposition CUF party boycotted the vote, saying its candidate Seif Sharif Hamad won the poll in October.

Counting in Niger, Congo-Brazzaville and Senegal

The opposition also boycotted the poll in Niger where the BBC’s Ishaq Khalid says vote counting went into the night.

Results of the presidential run-off are expected on Tuesday or Wednesday, with President Muhamadou Issoufou expected to win a second term.

Opposition candidate, Hama Amadou, who was in jail on baby-trafficking charges he denies for the first round, was flown to Paris last week for medical treatment.

Counting is ongoing in Congo-Brazzaville where President Denis Sassou Nguesso is expected to win another seven years in office.

Police fired tear gas at opposition supporters after the close of voting – and telephone, text messages and the internet are still down on the orders of the government.

Turnout in Senegal’s referendum on a new constitution that would cut presidential mandates from seven to five years is reported to be low. BBC