A polling official cuts the seal of a ballot box during the elections for a new parliament in Cotonou, Benin, on April 28. (Yanick Folly/AFP/Getty Images)

In the weeks before Benin’s April 28 election, police used tear gas to disperse demonstrations led by former presidents Nicephore Soglo and Thomas Yayi Boni, who called for a boycott of the opposition-less election.

The government blocked social media and messaging apps on the Internet. International and domestic observers canceled poll monitoring plans in anticipation of violence — there were two reported deaths and 206 incidents during the election. Yayi Boni called for the election results to be annulled; soldiers in tanks circled his home and fired on hundreds of protesters.

Such events would be unsurprising in some African countries, including neighboring Togo.…  Seguir leyendo »