When we last left our heroes, they were in Nikki, sans cell phone service. Just a few last notes on that.
Had a great time with the Peace Corps volunteers who descended on Nikki for the festival. Many were staffing booths promoting projects they were working on in their village. We also hung out at night over beers and street food.
Which brings us to leaving Nikki and heading down the road to Parakou. No photos here because…well…I forgot spare batteries for my camera. We had a great day in Parakou visiting several schools and a great evening holding our first Town Hall for Americans north of Cotonou. We’ll do it again.
Let’s move on.
There’s a Presidential election in Benin March 6. Actually, that’s the first round. If nobody gets 50 percent, the top two fight it out for the Presidency two weeks later. There are three candidates common wisdom say have a chance of winning, and 11 other candidates. All of them are busy campaigning. For starters, putting up signs everywhere.
The other guys have signs too, but I haven’t taken pictures of them yet.
But the issue here is less the candidates and more the voter list. Called the LEPI after its French acronym, everyone except incumbent President Boni Yayi thinks it has major problems, mainly that they missed a lot of people on “census day”. They were trying to register everyone 8 and older so that they wouldn’t have to do this again for two more election cycles, but nobody is really happy with the result. There have been demonstrations, with tear gas used to control the crowd, over the LEPI.
If the election is close, expect challenges based on the LEPI being incomplete.
Good Night, and have a pleasant tomorrow.