Benin - Patrice Talon's interview : the key points to retain

On Thursday 7 November 2019, President Patrice Talon, promulgated the Amnesty Act and Act No. 2019-40 amending Act No. 90-032 of 11 December 1990. In the interview granted to France 24 and RFI yesterday, the head of government indicated that the adoption of the amnesty law requested by the entire political class is a logical consequence of the class’ admission of its inability to carry out the reforms it wanted.

The Head of State, President Patrice Talon, does not agree with those who believe that the amnesty law he promulgated on Thursday 7 November 2019, is taken much more for his own protection and the protection of those who shot unarmed civilians. Facing Marc Perelman of France 24 and Christophe Boisbouvier of RFI, to whom he granted an exclusive interview on Thursday, 7 November 2019, the Beninese Head of State recalled the context in which the “entire political class” decided on an amnesty law which was finally adopted unanimously by the deputies of the current legislature. “We know very well that what has been at the root of these clashes and violence is the implementation of a desired reform,” he recalls. However, he notes that difficulties have arisen in the implementation of reforms. Faced with these difficulties for which it holds political actors who have demonstrated incapacity accountable, citizens have come forward and committed crimes. “On the occasion of the implementation, some who could not, wanted to force the questioning of these reforms. If the political class as a whole acknowledges that it has not been up to the desired reforms. Shouldn’t the consequence to be drawn, those who in the demonstrations committed criminal acts not be considered as “victims” of the political class’s inability to carry out the reforms it wanted”? he wondered.

For him, contrary to what is said by some political actors, the amnesty law was taken for those citizens who are nothing more than “victims” of the political class’s inability to live up to the reforms it itself wanted with all these wishes. “I think today that the political class is more responsible for what happened than those who were manipulated,” he concludes to justify in whose favour the said laws were passed.


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