Presidential Candidate Calls On EU To Cut Financial Aid To Benin

Dr Prosper Ladislas Agbesi addressing journalists in Accra

Accra, Ghana, June 15, 2019//-Dr Prosper Ladislas Agbesi, a leading opposition political figure and the presidential Candidate of the Alliance for New Congress (ANC) in the 2016 elections has called on the European Union (EU) to cut financial aid to Benin over human rights violations orchestrated by Beninoise President, Patrice Talon.

According to him, the current President Talon and his government have brought mercenaries into the West African country to terrorize the people for standing for their rights.

Dr Agbesi told journalists at a press conference in Accra, Ghana that if the EU cuts financial aid to the country it would make the government unpopular which lead to cause the masses to revolt against President Talon and his government.

The EU has been the largest contributor to the national budgets of Benin for over five year. It also supports other areas including the recent EUR 184 million aid package to the government in its efforts to introduce good governance, improve the management of public finances and fight fraud and corruption.

Dr Agbesi emphasized that another way “to avert Talon’s bid for autocratic power and restore Benin to normalcy without sacrificing the precious lives of countless innocent Beninoise is to apply non-violence pressure.

This means a combination of passive civil disobedience at home and international pressure in the form of sanctions from abroad. It is the latter that has brought me to Accra, Ghana today to address you”.

He was emphatic: “Sanctions from the international community have proved to be an effective way of persuading repressive regimes to conform to internationally acceptable standards of conduct.

The effect of sanctions correlates with the international dependency of the target country’s economy, hence that is why we are calling on the EU to cut support to the Beninoise government, Dr Agbesi stressed.

To this end, Dr Agbesi who is also the Chairman of the Alliance for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (ASDA), called on the leadership of the ECOWAS Sub-region, African Union (AU), United Nations (UN) and the international community to step into the political situation in Benin and bring order in the interest of the people.

He lamented President Talon, has failed the people and so must step aside for new elections to bring the country back its former glory.

Dr Agbesi therefore assured that he has given the incumbent president up to 90 days to resign because the people of Benin have demonstrated clearly that they do not want him as their president.

He further lamented that security has also failed in the country and businesses are suffering, coupled with the rising bad image of the country internationally, are good reasons for any president who truly cares for his people to take a decent bow for a more competent person to take over and help the people.

“He has been a president for only three years but the people have demonstrated clearly that they are not comfortable with him. By the constitution of Benin, he is not our president. He is creating fear in the country. Many people have gone on exile because they are in fear,” he stated.

Dr. Agbesi was at pain that a country which was once seen as a leading democracy in Africa could be reduced to an almost one party state, where opposition parties do not have a representation even in parliament.

He said there is evidence that President Talon has become very unpopular in the country, for which reason he is making moves to change the constitution through strange and unconventional means.

About a month to the recent parliamentary elections in Benin, the Electoral Commission of that country promulgated a new law that disqualified all other political parties excerpt the President’s party. This led to huge apathy with only a fraction of the people turning up to vote on the Election Day.

“So we are saying that you can’t have a country that excludes the opposition in decision making. Less than 10 percent of the population voted in the parliamentary elections and so it is not a representation of the people,” Dr Agbesi stated.

African Eye Report

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