La délégation du parti Fcbe conduite par Paul Hounkpè à l’ouverture du dialogue politique. Photo: Frissons Radio

The Forces cauris pour un Bénin émergent (FCEB) party of former head of state Boni Yayi submitted a memorandum to the political dialogue held from 10 to 12 October at the Congress Palace in Cotonou. This document traces the demands and grievances of the visibly divided party since obtaining its receipt proving its legal existence.

I- POLITICAL DIALOGUE ORGANIZATION

Considering that Benin is going through a difficult period in its political history, a period marked by the rise of extremism and a radicalisation of respective positions aggravated by the exclusion of opposition parties as a whole from the electoral process

Considering that this period is also marked by the need to restore the rule of law and to restore individual and collective freedoms,

Considering that, at the political level, several opposition political parties, most of whose leaders in exile, were unable to register until the political dialogue was held

Considering that the call for political dialogue launched is a commendable effort expressing the will of the President of the Republic to work towards easing the political and social climate

Considering that the objective is to take into account the different national political sensitivities and allow a consensual resolution of the political and social crisis by involving as many citizens and national actors as possible

THE FCEB PARTY

ENDORSES ALL CONSENSUAL AMENDMENTS LIKELY TO MAKE THE APPLICATION OF THE TEXTS MORE OPERATIONAL, EXCEPT THOSE WHICH COULD LEAD TO A CONSTITUTIONAL REVISION

1- criticizes the format proposed by the government

2- Deplores the absence of many opposition political parties excluded from the April 2019 parliamentary elections and the absence of former Heads of State and representatives of civil society.

3- disapproves of the continued imprisonment of many activists, particularly those involved in the events in Cadjèhoun in Cotonou, Kandi, Savè, Parakou and Tchaourou at the time of the Political Dialogue;

4- regrets that Beninese compatriots likely to contribute to the reflection are absent from this dialogue because they are in exile;

5- Deplores the fact that the subjects to be debated are limited to laws whose application has led to the electoral crisis.

4- Notwithstanding these observations, the FCEB party thanks the Head of State for having agreed that the plenary should broaden the scope of subjects to be discussed in order to take into account the specific concerns of certain political parties, in particular those of the opposition, which have requested that appeasement measures be taken as a prerequisite for their contribution to the dialogue.

5- The main appeasement measures expressed by the FCBE Party are as follows:

the release of political prisoners and the cessation of politically motivated prosecutions;
the discontinuation of the proceedings against the honorary president of our Party, His Excellency Thomas Boni YAYI, former President of the Republic
the return of political exiles under arrest warrants or not;
the point of death and material damage caused by post-election violence;
the restitution to the victims’ relatives of bodies that are still under judicial jurisdiction;
the resumption of parliamentary elections;
the grooming and/or repeal of the laws relating to the CRIET, the right to strike, the numerical code,
compensation for all victims of post-election violence: grieving families, the wounded and those who have suffered material damage,

The FCEB party, which is committed to peace, solidarity and national harmony, makes its continued participation in the dialogue conditional on taking into account appeasement measures in the form of strong resolutions that are immediately applicable.

II- LAW 2018-23 ON THE CHARTER OF POLITICAL PARTIES

6- Review the role of the State in the process of forming political parties. This role should be strictly limited to the registration of political parties and their fair financing. Under no circumstances should the legal existence of a political party depend on the executive. A single (final) receipt is sufficient.

To this end, ANEC must now deal with the management of the files for the creation of political parties in the Republic of Benin.

It receives the declaration of incorporation files from political parties and the annexes it examines.

It issues a provisional receipt to political parties that have met the requirements of the Charter of Political Parties.

After publication of the provisional receipt in the Official Gazette, the Ministry of the Interior shall issue the final receipt to the political parties within 72 days of receipt of the notification of publication.

III- LAW 2018-31 ON THE ELECTORAL CODE

7- Article 46 (new): The nomination paper must include the surname, first names, profession, date and place of birth and full address of the candidate(s). It must be accompanied by:

– a receipt for payment to the Public Treasury of the security provided for the election in question;

– a certificate of nationality;

– a bulletin n° 3 of the criminal record dating less than three (03) months ago;

– a birth certificate or any equivalent document;

– a residence certificate;

– a tax discharge for the last three (03) years preceding the year of the election attesting that the candidate is up to date with the payment of his taxes. It is prohibited to address a tax adjustment to a candidate who solicits the request of his tax discharge for participation in an election

In addition, the nomination paper must mention the candidate’s name or logo. It is also accompanied by a specimen of the emblem.

A provisional receipt with the registration number shall be issued immediately to the registrant.

After the provisional receipt has been issued, ANEC examines the application file and sends the candidate list the examination report of its application file.

Candidate lists have 72 hours to correct any material errors and meet the ANEC requirements contained in the report.

In the case of a list vote, no addition, withdrawal or substitution of candidates, or change of position on the lists may be made after the submission of candidature files to ANEC. In the event of death, the person concerned shall be replaced without changing the positions on the lists.

The final receipt is issued by the National Autonomous Electoral Commission (CENA) after verification of the conformity of the documents and verification of the admissibility of the candidature.

The National Autonomous Electoral Commission (NAEC) has eight (08) days, after the submission of candidatures, to publish the list of successful candidates.

8- Article 77 (new): The voting position is held according to whether the elections are ordinary or coupled elections, respectively by three (03) and five (05) election officers.

The members of the voting station are composed of:

– one (01) President;

– two (02) assessors;

In the event of a coupling, the voting station is composed of a (01) president and two (02) assessors per ballot box.

They are appointed from among electoral agents previously trained by the National Autonomous Electoral Commission (NAEC) and whose list is regularly updated by the National Autonomous Electoral Commission (NAEC).

The president of the voting station is appointed by the National Autonomous Electoral Commission (NAEC) from among the A or B managers or equivalent in active or retired status residing in the department.

The assessors composing the voting stations will hold the baccalaureate or an equivalent level. They are appointed concurrently by the ruling movement and the regularly declared political opposition.

of the polling station. ……………

9- Article 134 (new): In the event of loss or damage to the voter’s card, the holder shall declare it to the judicial police authorities of his place of residence. The judicial police officer who received the declaration must issue a certificate of loss to the declarant.

The elector shall make a written request for a duplicate, to which he shall attach the certificate of loss provided for in the preceding paragraph. This request shall be addressed to the competent body in charge of issuing duplicate voter cards.

The request shall be transmitted without delay through the hierarchy by the dismemberments of the competent body at the latest forty-five (45) days before the election.

The duplicate shall be given to the elector at least thirty (30) days before the date of the poll.

It may be issued only once in the interval between two consecutive elections

In any event, cards will be systematically distributed to voters every five (5) years.

 

10- Article 148 (new): Each year and on an ad hoc basis, a Communal Update Commission is set up by the Guidance and Supervision Board, on a proposal from the National Processing Agency.

The Municipal Update Commission exercises its powers within the limits of the municipality’s territorial jurisdiction.

It is composed of three (03) members including:

– the person in charge of the department in charge of the civil status and population of the municipality;

– one (01) representative appointed by the parliamentary majority;

– one (01) representative appointed by the parliamentary minority.

They shall be appointed taking into account the criteria of technical competence and morality. They must be residents of the municipality.

As a transitional measure, the notion of majority and parliamentary minority must be replaced by that of the movement and the declared opposition.

11- Article 223 (new): The President of the Republic is elected by an absolute majority of the votes cast.  If this is not obtained in the first ballot, a second ballot shall be held within fifteen (15) days after the proclamation of the results of the first ballot by the Constitutional Court.

Only the two (02) candidates who received the largest number of votes in the first round may stand for the second round of voting. In the event of the withdrawal of either of the two (02) candidates, the following candidates shall stand in the order of their ranking after the first ballot.

The candidate who has obtained a relative majority of the votes cast shall be declared elected in the second ballot.

12- Article 227 (new): Any member of the Armed Forces or Public Security Forces and assimilated who wishes to run for the office of President of the Republic must first resign from the Armed Forces or Public Security Forces and assimilated one (1) year before the submission of the applications.

13- Article 233 (new): The amount of the security to be paid by the candidate in the presidential election is 1% of the maximum amount authorized for the election campaign. This amount is paid to the Director of the Treasury or to a receiver of the Treasury who will forward it to the Director of the Treasury. This deposit is refundable to the candidate if he or she has obtained at least ten percent (10%) of the votes cast in the first round.

14- Article 240 (new): increase the number of deputies from 83 to 111 to take into account gender and territorial representation.

15- Article 289 Paragraph 2 new

The candidate for mayor is a councillor elected from the list having obtained an absolute majority of councillors.

IV- LAW ON THE CREATION OF THE CRIET

Repeal the CRIET law outright and strengthen the ordinary courts

V- LAW ON THE RIGHT OF STRIKE

Increase the number of strike days to a maximum of 1 working month per year.

VI- DIGITAL CODE LAW

(Decriminalize acts of publication or message transfer on social networks.

Delete or relax all provisions relating to the restriction of freedoms of opinion and expression.

VII- RECOMMENDATIONS

15- The FCEB party calls for the adoption and implementation of all appeasement measures;

16- the FCBE party calls for the establishment of a joint committee to monitor the implementation of the recommendations.

17- The FCEB party suggests the organisation, in 2020, of general elections (legislative, municipal, communal and local) as an alternative solution to the resumption of legislative elections.

18- The FCEB party requests the report of the inter-ministerial decree on the prohibition of the issuance of acts of authority to wanted persons.

Done at Cotonou, 10 October 2019

The National Executive Secretary

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