In the December 4 collective statement signed by OCCG President, Fr. Nathanaël Yaovi Soede and other members, OCCG members call on parliamentarians and the constitutional court to “take the measures required for the suppression (of the sponsorship law) in the current context where it raises problems that make it difficult to apply it as well as the organization of a transparent, credible and peaceful presidential election.”
Making reference to the reluctance to amend the electoral law, they add, “The OCCG wonders whether Benin will be able to emerge from the current political crisis situation if it refuses to take corrective consensual action on the sole grounds that laws have already been passed and must be enforced, whatever the dangers on the horizon.”
In the statement, OCCG members further encourage “fair and equitable treatment of applications for administrative declarations of political party formation and candidacy for various elections at all levels of political life.”
Regarding the April 2021 polls, the members of the organ of the Catholic Bishops in the country say that they expect the President who is the “supreme guarantor of state and security in the country” to ensure the election is “inclusive, transparent and peaceful.”
The members of the Fr. Nicodeme-led organ also urge the Beninese authorities to establish a dialogue with “the bereaved and those who are facing painful psychological and social situations as a result of the frustrations and violence that marked the legislative elections of 2019 and the municipal elections of 2020.”
They also express “the strong wish that the authorities and all parties reach reconciliation before the 2021 presidential election.”
“The OCCG is counting on the Government to ensure that national unity, democracy and human development are consolidated with ‘the return to the fold of all sons and daughters of Benin who are forced to leave the national territory for one reason or another, the full enjoyment of freedom of expression and movement by all citizens, and finally the restoration of a climate of peace and trust in the country’,” they say in the December 4 statement.
Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.
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