Former exiled Beninese president Thomas Boni Yayi left Wednesday night Cotonou after a quick visit without meeting with the head of state Patrice Talon, was learned Thursday from concordant sources.
« The president hastily left Cotonou last night for reasons we do not know, » said a relative of the opponent.
« The president and the delegation that accompanied him left Cotonou last night by the same flight that had brought them, » confirmed an airport source.
The mission of ECOWAS (…) should have met us to listen to us after listening to the President of the Republic
Boni Yayi arrived Wednesday afternoon, accompanied by a large delegation of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) involved in the resolution of the Benin crisis. But it finally went without him to the presidency to exchange with Patrice Talon.
The former head of state finally visited another opposition leader, Nicéphore Soglo.
The meeting with Patrice Talon had yet been officially announced by the Beninese government and confirmed by relatives of the opponent.
« Boni Yayi did not go to meet the president because he is convinced that his main complaint, which is the resumption of parliamentary elections, will not be taken into account », had explained to AFP a member of the of Thomas Boni Yayi.
Eric Houndete, opposition and former Vice-President of the Assembly, regretted that the ECOWAS delegation did not take the time to meet other opposition leaders.
« The mission of ECOWAS (…) should have met us to listen to us after listening to the President of the Republic, » he said.
Former President Boni Yayi (2006-2016) was exiled after the encirclement of his home in Cotonou by the police for nearly two months, after the disputed poll of April 28 whose opposition had been excluded.
The ensuing crisis led to protests and violence with scores of gun deaths.
President Talon has made some gestures of appeasement such as the amnesty of the perpetrators of violence during the demonstrations, or the organization of a political dialogue to which the main opposition parties were not invited.
But the main demands of the opposition have not been met, namely the relaxation of new conditions for political parties to obtain legal recognition. This prevented Patrice Talon’s main detractors from participating in the elections six months ago.