An election officer (2nd R) displays a ballot during the count of votes of the 2016 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/Dagnon)
An election officer (2nd R) displays a ballot during the count of votes of the 2016 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/Dagnon)

Zinsou, candidate of the ruling party, took 28.44 percent of votes cast, followed by Talon on 24.8 percent of votes cast, according to the results announced Tuesday by Emmanuel Tiado, chairman of the electoral body.

An election officer (2nd R) displays a ballot during the count of votes of the 2016 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/Dagnon)
An election officer (2nd R) displays a ballot during the count of votes of the 2016 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/Dagnon)

The two will compete in the second round set to be held within two weeks.

Sebastien Ajavon, the chairman of national employers’ council, came third in the first round on 23.03 percent of votes cast.

The first round of the polls closed with a turnout of 64.03 percent of some 4.7 million voters, who are choosing a new president among 33 candidates.

President Boni Yayi is stepping down as his second term ends on April 6. He backs Zinsou in the presidential vote. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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