Benin's Patrice Talon Wins 65.4% of Votes in Run-Off

Benin businessman Patrice Talon won presidential elections with 65.4 percent of votes cast in Sunday’s run-off, according to the electoral commission.

Prime Minister Lionel Zinsou won 34.6 of votes, Emmanuel Tiando, head of the commission, told reporters in the commercial capital, Cotonou, on Monday. Ballots from Beninese citizens abroad haven’t yet been counted, he added. The results will need to be validated by the Constitutional Court.

Talon, 57, became a multi-millionaire importing fertilizers for the cotton industry, the country’s main export. He owns Societe de Financement et de Participation, which has subsidiaries in cotton ginning and the distribution of fertilizers. The company also owns hotels in Benin and produces fertilizers in Ivory Coast.

Nicknamed the cotton king, Talon went into self-imposed exile for three years after a prosecutor accused him of conspiracy to poison outgoing President Thomas Yayi Boni, a charge he denied. The charges were dropped in 2014 after Yayi Boni held a speech on state TV saying he pardoned his former ally.

(Corrects percentage obtained by Talon in first paragraph.)
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