In an exclusive interview granted jointly to France 24 and FIR, the Beninese Head of State, President Patrice Talon, answered Marc Perelman of France 24 and Christophe Boisbouvier of FIR’s questions. What can we keep from the interview with the Head of State?
In a usual style but with less confidence this time, President Patrice Talon, lent himself this Thursday 7th November 2019 to questions from Marc Perelman of France 24 and Christophe Boisbouvier of FIR. The questions related to the reforms that led to a deep political crisis, the amnesty law promulgated by the Head of State on the day of the meeting, the return home of former President Boni Yayi, the closure of certain Nigerian land borders with Benin and the CFA franc.
Tthe main answers given on each question of Marc Perelman and Christophe Boisbouvier’s guest.
- Political reforms:
According to Patrice Talon, the reforms were difficult but necessary (because the bar was set quite high, in his own words). He does not regret the reforms but nevertheless deplores the inability of political actors to rise to the challenge…
- The official death toll after the post-election violence:
Apparently there was no independent investigation report that could put the exact death toll in perspective. However, the Head of State acknowledges that there were human deaths in the context of the post-election violence. He seemed to clear the military by accusing hunters of shooting at public security force officers. According to him, it is difficult to put forward a figure because hunters took away those of them who are wounded in the face of the military’s response in order to avoid leaving traces. He finally agreed with the number 4 put forward by the public prosecutor, the Ministry of the Interior and Amnesty International Benin;
- On his candidacy for his own succession in 2021:
Its application in 2021 is subject to conditions. For the Beninese head of state, it takes a combination of three factors for him to start the race for his own succession.
-The first factor relates to the political environment;
-The second factor is related to the political context;
– And the third concerns the level of implementation of the “GAP” major projects.
- On the prosecution of his predecessor:
Former President Boni Yayi was honoured by President Patrice Talon. To believe it, his predecessor embodies many things in the minds of his fellow citizens because of the position he had to hold. He opted for the latter’s return, reassuring him of the end of all hassles. Moreover, he explained, the adoption of an amnesty law cancels any possible prosecution of the former head of state in the context of post-election violence. He denies any link between Nigeria’s closure and the harassment suffered by Yayi Boni, who spent a period under house arrest.
- On the closure of the Nigerian border:
President Patrice Talon was reassuring about the ongoing steps to reopen the borders. It cannot be otherwise, he said, given the fraternal ties between the two peoples. “The administrations of both countries are working to find a solution to the closure,” he said.
- On the currency “cfa”:
For President Patrice Talon, foreign exchange reserves domiciled in France should no longer be used. According to him, both France, President Emmanuel Macron and the heads of state of the CFA franc zone agree with the reform envisaged in this direction.