Benin Presidential poll pushed to March

The first round of Benin’s presidential elections, initially scheduled for Feb. 28, has been pushed forward to March 6, 2016 to allow more voters acquire their voter’s cards, Benin’s Constitutional Court ruled.

“The president of the republic is hereby asked to call for elections for the first round of the presidential elections on March 6, 2016,” the court ruled.

The voter’s cards have not yet been distributed with just two weeks before the first round of the elections.

The commission charged with the responsibility of preparing and distributing the voter’s cards said it had faced enormous difficulties while attempting to accomplish its mandate.

“The technical operator has not yet completed the printing of some voter’s cards due to certain challenges caused by lack of some imported materials,” the commission’s chairman Augustin Ahouanvoebla said, adding that by Feb. 11, at least 60 percent of the cards had been printed.

Over 4.7 million Beninese voters are expected to head to polls to elect a new president among the 33 candidates to replace President Boni Yayi whose term ends on April 6, 2016.

The coming presidential election is the sixth to be organised in Benin, since the advent in February 1990 of democratic renewal in the West African country.