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Presidential elections postponed by a week, Togo


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Benin Constitutional Court has on Friday postponed the first round of the country’s presidential election, by a week to March 6, because of problems with the distribution of voting materials.

A letter from the court in Cotonou said the first round was initially scheduled for Feb. 28 but, as at Feb. 6, voter cards had only been distributed in two of its dozen departments, prompting the opposition to cry foul.

The court added in its decision that if this year’s voter cards were not available for some people they could use those from polls in 2015.

“The president of the republic is invited to call the electoral body to the polls for the first round of the vote on Sunday, March 6, 2016.

The Opposition said the incumbent president Boni Yayi was barred by constitutional limits from seeking another term and is not running for re-election.

They said Yayi has publicly backed Lionel Zinsou, his Prime Minister and a former investment banker, who has also received support from the leading opposition party despite attracting criticism for spending much of his life outside Benin.

Oppositions said Zinsou would face 32 other candidates who have been approved by the constitutional court to vie for the presidency.

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