NYCFPA STATEMENT ON THE ARREST OF BENIN’S OPPOSITION CANDIDATES

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

4 MAR 2021 

NYCFPA STATEMENT ON THE ARREST OF BENIN’S OPPOSITION CANDIDATES 

The New York Center for Foreign Policy Affairs (NYCFPA) is concerned by the news of the arrest of Benin’s opposition leader Reckya Modougou yesterday in Porto-Novo.  

Yesterday in Benin’s capital, where opposition leaders were meeting, Reckya Madougou was ambushed and arrested  without trial by military forces at the direction of Patrice Talon, the president of Benin. Reckya Madougou is the flag bearer of Benin’s largest opposition party and the first female presidential candidate for a major party. She was  not the only opposition candidate who was targeted. Moise Kerekou and Prof. Joel Aivo were targeted in the ambush as well, but were able to escape.  

The recent decision of the Autonomous National Electoral Commission of Benin (CENA) to exclude all opposition candidates from the upcoming presidential election in Benin was bound to lead to another electoral crisis and civil unrest in the country. The lengths to which Patrice Talon has gone to ensure that the country’s democratic backsliding continues are troubling. To prevent the democratic process from playing out and restricting the voices of Benin’s citizens’ is not the character of a democratic leader instead, it is the character of one that attacks democracy, the rule of law, and human rights.  

The NYCFPA calls on the international community and Biden administration to convene and condemn President Talon’s attacks on the democracy of Benin in recent weeks. We also call for the immediate release of Reckya Madougou and for President Talon to let the democratic process run its course without engaging in intimidating  tactics. 

Justin Russell, the Principal Director of the NYCFPA, states, “the severe attacks on the rights of the opposition,  democracy, the rule of law, and human rights in Benin creates more conducive environment for security threat in the  region. A country’s best defense against terrorism is to improve the legitimacy of the state through more democratic,  human rights, and rule of law practices at the local, national, and international levels.” 

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About The New York Center For Foreign Policy Affairs 

The New York Center for Foreign Policy Affairs (NYCFPA) is a policy, research, and educational organization  headquartered in New York State with an office in Washington D.C. NYCFPA is an independent, non-profit, non partisan, institution devoted to conducting in-depth research and analysis on every aspect of American foreign  policy and its impact around the world.  

Media Contact: 

Justin Russell – Principal Director justin.russell@nycfpa.org 202-503-4089 www.nycfpa.org

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