President Patrice Talon, a business tycoon who was known for financing politicians, promised to stay in office for one term when he came into office for the first time in 2016. He is an independent candidate supported by a host of political parties amongst which are the Progressive Union and the Republican bloc. He had tried to promulgate a law where successive presidents can only have one office term; this was however rejected by the law makers.

     President Patrice Talon of Benin Republic

Following his victory in the 2021 election by 86% of total votes, and his endorsement by the constitutional court on Thursday, April 15 2021.

  • Joel Aivo, a disqualified presidential candidate of Front for the Restoration of Democracy was apprehended for terrorist crimes.
  • Paul Hounkpe, the running mate of Alassane Soumanou of Cowry Front for an Emerging Benin who came second with 11.37% of the total vote, was declared head of the opposition.
  • Drastic quell of tension on the political scene was predominant.
  • A wave of change in the executive team of the president’s second tenure is expected when President Patrice Talon kick starts his second tenure by 23rd May 2021.
  • Series of court proceedings on prominent politicians and protesters arrested are also expected
  • Despite the assertion of the election’s credibility by the International community and independent observers, the court’s proceedings of Reckya Madougo and Joel Aivo as well as other election prisoners will attract the attention of the International society. 

                                            Image showing events pre & during the election.


The Beninese political climate has since February 2021 reported an increase in political tension, following the disqualification of 17 of the 20 candidates running for Presidency. The two retained candidates Alassane Soumanou of Cowry Front for an Emerging Benin and Corentine Kohoue, a dissident figure who were to face the incumbent President Patrice Talon were neither considered as equal to the task nor oppositions of the president as many disqualified candidates and members of the opposition may have considered their political forces as not formidable enough. Many disqualified candidate had begun to form alliances when Reckya Madougou was apprehended on her way from a meeting with other party representatives. Reports also showed an increasing crackdown on politicians and protesters by the Cour de Repressions des Infractions Economiques et du Terrorisme (the Court for the Repression of Economic Crimes and Terrorism) before and after the election.

                Road block in the town of Toui by demonstrators

Notable arrests made were the arrest of Sebastien Ajouvon (a presidential candidate who came third in 2016 presidential election), Bio Tijani Dramane (a prominent partisan of the Democrat Party) and Reckya Madougou before the election while Joel Aivo and about fifteen people were arrested at the residence of judge Essowe Batamoussi (a judge who resigned from CRIET denouncing irregularities and fled the country) after the election . The arrest of Reckya Madougou coupled with several irregularities noted during the election screening had propelled the wave of civil unrest that swept through the country from 5th to 7th April, 2021.

A faction of protesters in support of the incumbent president also demonstrated in retaliation to the violent demonstration by the opposition noted across the county from 5th of April notably in Collines and Bante departments.


Protest demonstrations against the illegal remanding of the President on the seat gave room to riots, kidnapping and other forms of violence across the country as clashes were also  noted between hunters and the Republican police in the Bante of Collines department. The hunters’ group are known to have wrecked havoc during the election across the cities of Gouka, Bante, Savelou, Agbon, Mamatchoke and Save in Collines. Gunfire exchange by the group, other unidentified armed men and the GSF left five dead across the nation during the elections period. The elections could not be conducted in 16 polling units across the nation as five deaths were recorded in the Collines department from multiple violent demonstrations and armed clashes reported in the department.


  • Due to the peculiarity of court proceedings, political tension is likely to rise if the opposition seems displeased with the court’s rulings.
  • Violence is highly probable in Collines, Bante and Littoral departments if any irregularity is noted in the rulings considering the rate of violence noted during the elections in these departments.
  • An increase in violent crimes is highly probable in the absence of drastic security measures.
  • There is increased risk of post-electoral violence during the May 23 presidential swearing in.
  • An outbreak of violence, definitely will lead to humanitarian crisis, cross country migration especially into neighboring countries such as Togo, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Niger and Ghana.


  • Businesses and Individuals are advised to be highly vigilant in violence-prone communes and departments like Collines and Borgu departments.
  • Individuals are advised to stay indoors during violent periods.
  • Observe any suspicious movement and immediately report to the Police or appropriate authorities.