Benin court clears Yayi second term election win

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 30, 2011 7:36 AM
Benin court clears Yayi second term election win

COTONOU (Reuters) - Benin's highest court on Wednesday rejected an appeal by opposition candidates to annul the West African nation's March 13 presidential election, confirming that incumbent Boni Yayi had won a second term.

Benin, a top regional cotton producer, became the latest African state to face a dispute over its presidential election when Yayi's rivals rejected the results giving him victory, while their supporters took to the streets burning tires and said the vote was rigged.

The president of Benin's Constitutional Court, Robert Dossou, said though there was evidence to support the opposition complaint of some irregularities in the election, it was not enough to call into question the transparency and credibility of the vote.

"The high court definitively proclaims Boni Yayi as the elected president of the republic," Dossou said during a session of the court held to decide on opposition complaints.

Yayi, who won the vote with 53 percent in the first round against 36 percent for challenger Adrien Houngbedji, will take the oath of office on April 6 for his second and final five-year term.

(Reporting Samuel Elijah; Writing by Bate Felix; Editing by Giles Elgood)