Benin. In April, Benin's parliament rejected by a
marginal margin a proposal by President Patrice Talon to
hold a referendum to amend the Constitution. Talon had said
during the 2016 election campaign that he wanted to limit
the president's ability to sit for more than one term. The
proposal was that the president would only sit for a period
of six years. Currently, two five-year terms of office
apply. The National Assembly rejected the proposal with the
numbers 60 for and 22 against and one abstention among
voters. 63 votes were required to go to the referendum.
Countryaah.com, Talon's performance was unusual given that several other
African presidents tried to extend their time in power
through various methods.
Another point where the president stood out was that his
office in June confirmed that he had been treated in France
for a "change" in the prostate. Nothing was said about
cancer. Rumors had come to an end since he traveled abroad
in May for several weeks. Few African heads of state give
some details about their state of health. However, Talon's
proposal to liberalize parts of the economy, such as
privatizing the port authority in the important port of
Cotonou and parts of the cotton industry, has sparked
criticism. Trade unions that organize state port employees
strike in October and street protests also occurred.