Institutions and electoral reforms: Why the CENA was born from false evidence

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 My thesis is: the reasons why the organization of the elections was withdrawn to the public administration are always put in the operation of the Céna.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.

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