Violent clashes instead of constructive debates
ALTHOUGH BENIN IS TWO YEARS AHEAD OF THE 2011 PRESIDENTIAL CONTEST, THE WHOLE POLITICAL ARENA HAS ALREADY BEEN WAGING CAMPAIGN; A CAMPAIGN WHICH LACKS SUBSTANCE, DEBATES, IDEAS, AND DISCUSSIONS BUT INSTEAD, HAS BEEN DOMINATED BY VIOLENT CLASHES.
On one hand, there is the ruling FCBE and its allies which are willing to have a second term in office, on the other; there is an opposition which wants to oust the President Boni Yayi. Considering, since 1990, Benin has been a democratic country, these pretensions are all legitimate but power or the quest for it, in itself, can not be enough to convince the voters.
Ruling FCBE, instead of trying to convince the citizens by its policy in Government and its willingness to face the problems confronting the nation, has thrown itself in a precocious campaign depriving the Government of the energy needed to take on the challenges of development. High officials who are supposed to be focused on governance at different levels have all the time been out on the ground campaigning.
On its part, the opposition has been unable so far clearly to define what its purposes are. It is now clear that the opposition leaders have in common the desire to oust Boni Yayi from Government but what, they intend to do afterward, remains unclear as well as what is going to be their policy and how they are going to implement that policy.
Both camps seem to be avoiding the important issues such as the fight against corruption, the global economical crisis, the Beninese electoral system, the reform of the Constitution to improve democratic and good governance and so on.
The well-known Beninese columnist, historian and journalist Jerôme CARLOS, in his analysis on Tuesday, March 03, 2009 rightly questions the rational behind this early campaign : « …But ultimately, if we look closely, what future are we talking about, the future of whom, more precisely? Is this the future of politicians who are always to be first and foremost, politically well-positioned to better cling to power, to their appreciable benefits and privileges? Is this the future of men and women, covered by the general and generic term of people who are invited in time of an election to devote themselves to problematic and unhealthy gambling of a perverted democracy? »
Apart from this lack of substance marking this inappropriate campaign, politically motivated violence has been erupting throughout the country. If the situation keeps on worsening instead of mobilizing the voters, this campaign may cause apathy from the citizens and increase their disregard to politics and politicians.
Alfred Cossi Chodaton