Benin president will face two challengers in April election

FILE PHOTO: Benin's president, Patrice Talon, attends a joint declaration with French president at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, April 26, 2016. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

COTONOU (Reuters) - Benin President Patrice Talon will run against two challengers in a presidential election on April 11, the West African nation's constitutional court said on Monday.

Talon, who came to power in 2016, will run against Alassane Soumanou of the opposition party Cowry Forces for an Emerging Benin (FCBE) and opposition figure Corentin Kohoue.

The country's image as a bastion of democracy and stability in a troubled region was dented by the exclusion of opposition parties from parliamentary elections in 2019, which sparked rare unrest.

Under Talon, leading opposition figures have also faced targeted harassment from the authorities, including through the courts, according to U.S. democracy watchdog group Freedom House.

(Reporting by Allegresse Sasse in Cotonou; Writing by Alessandra Prentice; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

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