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Benin, Chad and Djibouti held presidential elections over the weekend, although opposition leaders in all three countries, as well as outside observers, said the outcomes were predetermined. Not surprisingly, early returns have the incumbents easily winning all three contests.
In Benin, the run-up to Sunday’s vote was marred by violent protests and accusations that President Patrice Talon was undermining what has been one of West Africa’s most stable democracies. Talon, a business tycoon who has spurred the country’s economic growth, campaigned in 2016 on a promise to serve only one term if elected. He backtracked on that pledge earlier this year, even as a judicial system stacked with his allies upheld changes to the electoral code that barred leading opposition figures from running. Some were even forced into exile after being convicted on questionable criminal charges.