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Benin’s Prime Minister Lionel Zinsouhas recently said he would run for president on behalf of the ruling party in an election next year, burying fears that President BoniYayi will defy constitutional term limits and seek a third term.
Moves by African leaders to extend their terms of office have triggered unrest in other African states like Burundi and Burkina Faso.
Zinsou said he would focus his presidency on supporting the poorest and most vulnerable, bringing more workers into the formal sector and establish banking systems for agriculture in the tiny cotton producer.
BoniYayi’s ruling party the Cowry Forces for an Emerging Benin’s (FCBE) lost seats in an April parliamentary poll, weakening his ability to push through constitutional reforms opposition figures had claimed were part of an attempt to seek another mandate next year.
Following the April defeat, BoniYayi named the Franco-Beninese economist and former investment banker Zinsou as prime minister of a new government in June in a bid to boost the West African nation’s growth which has been hit by a slowdown in neighbour and main trading partner Nigeria.

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