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Benin goes to the polls Sunday to choose a new president, and the ballot is long – a record 33 candidates. Incumbent Thomas Boni Yayi is stepping down after serving his maximum of two terms.
One front-runner among Benin’s nearly three dozen presidential candidates is current prime minister Lionel Zinsou, who helms a coalition of three political parties.
It’s a distinct advantage, says regional political analyst and director of the Wathi think tank Gilles Yabi.
He says Zinsou has the support of political parties that were considered to be in the opposition and he also has the support of the ruling party so that gives him a certain political weight.
But Yabi thinks it’s still anyone’s race.
He says it is a very open election and there are other candidates who could gather a large number of votes.
Zinsou has faced criticism over his ties to France. The investment banker was born and raised there and has only recently returned to Benin. He was named prime minister last June.
His top challengers include food industry magnate Sébastien Ajavon and cotton tycoon Patrice Talon. Talon broke with President Boni Yayi after he accused Talon of trying to poison him. Talon only returned to Benin last year following a presidential pardon.
Analysts say the candidates have, for the most part, been raising the same top campaign issues like corruption, jobs and agricultural reform.
If no candidate wins a clear majority Sunday, Benin will hold a run-off election two weeks later.
Activities to mark the 31st International Women’s Day in the Centre Region were launched at the Regional Delegation of Women’s Empowerment and the Family in Yaounde. The regional launch came on the heels of the national in Bertoua on Thursday, February 25, 2016.
The day was marked by a meeting with women of all walks of life. Speaking at yesterday’s ceremony, the Regional Inspector in charge of Devolved Technical Services in the Governor’s Office, Léonard Mani, said the theme for this year was a call for women from all walks of life to be involved in the celebrations and for equal rights to be given to men and women. He said women’s empowerment does not mean disobedience in the marital home or rejection, but the ability of women to take care of their well being. Léonard Mani therefore called on the participants to pay attention to various lectures for their own good.
The women discussed and shared ideas and experiences on topics such as “Women, Industry and Artisan,” “Women and ICTs,” “Women, Traditions and Liberty,” and “The Experience Of The Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and the Family In The Empowerment Of Women.” Others were “Women, Peace, Security And Violence Against Women,” and “The Legal Instruments Of The Rights Of Women,” among others. They also listened to tips on mother and child health, the fight against climate change, the socio-economic integration of the girl child and food supplements.
At least 24 people, many of them children, died and dozens were missing in Angola after a flash-flood swept through a market in the southern city of Lubango, state media said on Thursday.
The Angop news agency said flood-waters from the Capitao river, swollen by nearly 24 hours of torrential rain in the area, washed through the , where many young Angolans congregated to wash cars and bicycles.
More than 30 people were believed to be missing, Angop said.
As with much of southern Africa, southern Angola has been suffering one of its worst droughts in memory caused by a strong El Nino weather pattern in the Pacific Ocean.
South African Olympian Oscar Pistorius cannot challenge his conviction for the murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, a spokesman for the prosecuting authorities said on Thursday.
"We can confirm that Oscar Pistorius' leave to appeal has been denied," National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Luvuyo Mfaku told Reuters.
Veteran Cameroonian keeper Carlos Kameni scored a comical own goal as Malaga slumped to a 2-1 loss to Valencia in the Spanish La Liga on Wednesday.
Valencia leveled the score four minutes before the break in bizarre fashion after Malaga took a 14th-minute lead.
Kameni turned and jumped in the six-yard box to claw away a right-wing cross but palmed the ball into his own net instead.
Denis Cheryshev netted five minutes after the break to give Valencia a 2-1 win.
Kameni, 32, has been Cameroon's first-choice keeper for more than a decade since making his debut in 2001.
He won the African Cup of Nations with the Indomitable Lions in 2002 and also helped them reach the FIFA Confederations Cup final one year later.
The controversial South African pastor, Penuel Mnguni of End Time Disciples Ministries during sermon at the weekend, summoned members of his congregation who needed deliverance and stepped on them as if he was walking on a bare floor, DailyPost reports..
It will be recalled that the controversial pastor, who had in the past given his members snakes, grass and fabrics to eat as part of his deliverance session, says he heals the sick by stepping on them.
During his sermon last Sunday, Penuel was pictured stepping on his followers who came forward for deliverance and reports have it that the followers responded by saying they felt no pain afterwards.