The Republic of Benin’s National Electoral Commission, CENA, said 47 candidates have filed their papers to contest the country’s presidential election billed for February 28.
It said in a release on Wednesday in Cotonou that among the candidates are economic operators, former ministers, Members of Parliament and two army generals.
CENA said Forces for Emerging Benin, FCBE, the coalition of outgoing President Boni Yayi, is presenting Lionel Zinsou, the current Prime Minister, as its candidate.
It said the opposition Union for the Nation, UN, is fielding Erick Houndete, second vice-president of the Beninese Parliament.
The electoral commission said the Party for Democratic Change, PRD, of Adrien Houngbédji, who the opposition mobilized to elect as Speaker of Parliament in May 2015, is backing the candidature of the Prime Minister.
CENA said the list of candidates would be transmitted to the Constitutional Court for validation.
It said further that there are 4,726,923 voters, with 99 per cent of them in the country, while the rest are outside.
CENA said the 14 days campaign would be from February 12 to 26.
“The second round of the election would be held on 13 March 2016 if no candidate secures more than half of the votes in the first round,” said the statement.
Although the campaign has not been officially launched, several potential candidates or their supporters are going round the country mobilising voters.