EU supports successful 2016 presidential elections in Benin The European Union (EU) intervenes in several ways in order to support Benin in the important democratic rendezvous of these presidential elections. Firstly, the EU supports the electoral operations of the National Autonomous Electoral Commission (CENA) by providing technical assistance since 20 January 2016. Implemented by ECES (European Center for Electoral Support), this technical assistance mission supports CENA in its mission, particularly for communication and awareness-raising activities, as well as training. On the other hand, in response to the invitation of the President of the Republic, a mission of electoral expertise (MEE) of the European Union is currently staying in Cotonou. The mission is composed of three experts responsible for analyzing the various phases of the electoral process and will meet many interlocutors for this purpose. This mission is independent, neutral, does not intervene in the process and abstains from public communication. Finally, the European Union supports the Electoral Platform of Civil Society Organizations in Benin and, in so doing, increases the presence of civil society observers during the elections.
UNDP: Support for the 2016 Presidential Election for Peaceful and Democratic Alternation in Benin
Count of votes at a polling station in the second round of the presidential election (Photo: UNDP Benin)
The Beninese have just elected Mr. Patrice Talon, President of the Republic, for the next five years. This presidential election whose first round took place on March 6 and the second round on March 20, 2016 marks a turning point for Benin’s democracy.
As in the past, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) provided technical and financial support for this presidential election. A team of experts assisted the National Electoral Commission (CENA), the main electoral management body, to implement planning, monitoring and evaluation, training and logistics. UNDP also provided support for the procurement of sensitive materials, including indelible ink (28,000 vials) and secure seals for ballot boxes (390,000), to cover the first and second ballots, all for a total amount of 386 811 730 Fcfa (about 700 000 US dollars).
UNDP also provided financial support to the Electoral Platform of Civil Society Organizations, for the establishment of the electoral watch box, a citizen observation device, which contributed to the holding of a free election, can This support to civil society has strengthened its role in voter education, observation and mediation. The data observed in the field could be analyzed and rapid responses could be made.
To this end, 600 election observers from civil society organizations (CSOs) were trained and deployed independently to observe the election with the support of UNDP. Some 2,450 observers were supported by other partners, including the European Union, the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, and the State Embassy. -United.
In 2015, UNDP had already played an important role in the organization of the parliamentary elections, which made it possible to elect the 83 deputies – including 7 women – serving since May 2015 in the National Assembly, and municipal, communal and municipal elections. This UNDP support to the 2015 election process is estimated at more than 100 million CFA francs, or about US $ 200,000.
With the support of ECES, CENA trains electoral actors on conflict management during elections.
The National Autonomous Electoral Commission (Cena) in partnership with the European Center for Electoral Support (ECES) organized from 11 to 13 April 2016 a training seminar on leadership and electoral conflict management. Participated in the session of Cena members, representatives of civil society and other actors of the electoral process in Benin. The goal was to build the leadership capacity of these actors and provide them with the tools they need to manage conflict during an election period.
For Josep Coll, head of the European Union delegation in Benin, it was also a question of allowing electoral agents to capitalize on the experiences gained in recent months when Benin organized three elections, namely the communals and the legislative elections. the 2015 presidential election in 2016. The diplomat particularly emphasized the role of communication and social networks during this election period.
“This training also allowed us to know that in such work, to succeed in an electoral process we must have a common vision, we must look in the same direction,” said Fatoumatou Batoko-Zossou, member of the civil society and president of the electoral platform of civil society organizations during the presidential elections of March 2016.
Satisfied with the training, participants who left with certificates, tools and materials to manage other elections expressed the wish to see the experience repeat itself. Indeed, this training session marks the end of Ceae’s technical support to Cena on behalf of the 2016 presidential election.
Donation of Vehicles in Benin for the elections!
The giant neighbor of East Benin makes a logistical contribution to the proper organization of the presidential election on Sunday, March 6th. Nigeria has donated 15 cars and 100 motorcycles to the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENA).
Nigeria’s Ambassador to the Republic of Benin, Lawrence Obisakin, at the handover ceremony on Saturday, February 27, 2016 at the CENA headquarters in Cotonou, hailed the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari to affirm Nigeria’s leadership in Africa . This is the donation of 15 Hilux vehicles and 100 motorcycles to the CENA Independent Electoral Commission of Benin by Nigeria.
The diplomat said the donations were made despite the financial challenges facing Nigeria. “We know that Nigeria is going through a period of economic crisis, however, our president, in his wisdom, despite the economic difficulties, was able to be sensitive to the needs of Benin.” President Buhari, in his wisdom, was able to find a way to help a country that needs a lot more help, “he said.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bulus Lolo, also congratulated Mr. Buhari, saying that he had given visibility to Nigeria’s contributions to African countries since taking office.
In response, CENA President Emmanuel Tiando praised Nigeria’s support to Benin at all times, saying that the donation would help the institution responsible for organizing elections in Benin to improve its performance. .
“The quality of the relationship between Nigeria is demonstrated by the frequent meetings that exist between the two countries,” said Emmanuel Tiando
The abolition of the National Independent Electoral Commission (Cena) is not on the agenda. This institution which is in charge of the organization of the elections in Benin will have to be reinforced, instead of suffering a suppression according to the MP of the block of the parliamentary majority Jean-Michel Abimbola of passage on the emission free Zone of Channel 3 this Sunday, March 04, 2018.
It is a poisoning, he claimed, saying that this option is not possible. “We’re not going to delete the Cena. It’s a Beninese label, “said Jean-Michel Abimbola. He says they are there to strengthen the institution and to give it more means. “Why do you want us to delete this label? He asked himself.
Institutions and electoral reforms: Why the CENA was born from false evidence
The interview given to the Beninese press by Richard Boni Ouorou, expert in political strategy, on institutions and electoral reforms, had prompted the reaction of Dr. Fidèle Sonon, election management consultant in the June 18, 2018 issue of the daily newspaper ” The Dispatch ”.
The latter questioned some of the arguments developed in the interview. Richard Boni Ouorou returns to the charge to provide clarification. My last interview devoted to institutions and electoral reforms sparked a number of reactions. In the latter case there is that, no less remarkable, of Dr. Fidèle Sonon. I consider his platform to be a major contribution to the reinstatement of a culture of intellectual debate that has been largely absent in recent years in Benin’s public space.
His reaction and those of several other people oblige me to have to give more details to my remarks. He and others mistakenly thought that I advocated a return to the organization of elections by the public administration. In the exercise I was confronted with, namely an interview, I did not content myself, depending on the questions asked, with making a diagnosis. I mean in the following lines not only to deepen this diagnosis but also to offer what can be considered as possible solutions.
I want to make two prerequisites to avoid confusion in the future. The first relates to the thesis that I support with regard to the National Electoral Commission (CENA). My thesis is: the reasons why the organization of the elections was withdrawn to the public administration are always put in the operation of the Céna. It can not be otherwise because of the general context in which this structure operates. My second prerequisite is the determination of this general context through four postulates: 1- The political actors lend themselves a reciprocal mistrust; 2- This mistrust is reflected among other things by a desire to control electoral mechanisms to ensure electoral victory; 3- This desire to control elections is expressed through institutional and legislative inflation; 4- Political life in Benin is characterized by resignation. The political actors do not want to fulfill the role that is theirs.