Voting for the first round of Benin Republic’s presidential election began on Sunday at most polling stations across the country.

Approximately five million voters are expected to take part in the first round of voting at 15,531 polling stations throughout Benin Republic and some foreign countries.

According to the new electoral law, the President and Vice President are elected by direct universal suffrage for a term of five years and can only be re-elected once.

Three pairs of candidates are participating in this election.

The incumbent President Patrice Talon and his running mate Mariam Talata will face the opposition duo of Corentin Kohoue-Irene Agossa of the Dynamics Restoring Confidence party (RLC) and Alassane Soumanou-Paul Hounkpe of Cowry Forces for an Emerging Benin (FCBE).

Polling started at 7.00 a.m. local time and was expected to last nine hours.

Mr Talon on Sunday called on his fellow citizens to turn out massively to fulfil their civic duty.

He made the appeal just after he cast his vote in Benin Republic’s economic capital Cotonou, adding that “polling is proceeding well across the country’’.

“The polling of this day is a great act and I urge everyone to make his choice, most importantly to choose a good candidate that best meets the expectations of people of Benin,’’ he said.

Seeking a second five-year term, Mr Talon also said with confidence that “Benin is in the process of writing a new page in its history’’.

(Xinhua/NAN)

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