Lionel Zinsou (L), Benin's Prime Minister and also a presidential candidate casts his vote during the presidential election in Cotonou, Benin, March 6, 2016. Voters in Benin began to cast their ballots on Sunday to choose a new president. Some 4.7 million eligible voters of the West African nation will decide between 33 candidates in 13,664 polling stations nationwide, which were opened at local time 7:00 a.m. and set to close at 4:00 p.m. (Xinhua/Seraphin)
Lionel Zinsou (L), Benin's Prime Minister and also a presidential candidate casts his vote during the presidential election in Cotonou, Benin, March 6, 2016. Voters in Benin began to cast their ballots on Sunday to choose a new president. Some 4.7 million eligible voters of the West African nation will decide between 33 candidates in 13,664 polling stations nationwide, which were opened at local time 7:00 a.m. and set to close at 4:00 p.m. (Xinhua/Seraphin)

In a statement released in Cotonou by Kabine Komara, head of the observer mission who is a former Guinean prime minister, the mission hailed efforts made by Beninese authorities, bodies charged with the role of organizing the elections, and all parties who took part for the peaceful conduct of the elections.

 Lionel Zinsou (L), Benin's Prime Minister and also a presidential candidate casts his vote during the presidential election in Cotonou, Benin, March 6, 2016. Voters in Benin began to cast their ballots on Sunday to choose a new president. Some 4.7 million eligible voters of the West African nation will decide between 33 candidates in 13,664 polling stations nationwide, which were opened at local time 7:00 a.m. and set to close at 4:00 p.m. (Xinhua/Seraphin)
Lionel Zinsou (L), Benin’s Prime Minister and also a presidential candidate casts his vote during the presidential election in Cotonou, Benin, March 6, 2016. Voters in Benin began to cast their ballots on Sunday to choose a new president. Some 4.7 million eligible voters of the West African nation will decide between 33 candidates in 13,664 polling stations nationwide, which were opened at local time 7:00 a.m. and set to close at 4:00 p.m. (Xinhua/Seraphin)

“The mission congratulates voters for the patience they demonstrated, hence confirming democratic maturity that has always characterised Beninese people.

ECOWAS urges these voters to maintain their exemplary behaviour until the announcement of the final provisional results. It urges them to guard this high level of responsibility and preserve values of tolerance and peace,” he said.

To monitor the first round of Benin’s presidential elections on March 6, ECOWAS deployed a mission of 136 election observers.

Over 4.7 million Beninese voters turned up on Sunday to cast their votes in 13,664 polling stations spread across the country to elect the successor of outgoing President Boni Yayi whose second term comes to an end on April 6.

The provisional results have not yet been published. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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