After a lousy election, Benin’s democracy is under threat

WITH ONLY two parties on the ballot, both of them supporters of President Patrice Talon, Benin’s general election on April 28th was an unhappy throwback to the country’s post-independence Marxist era, when voters had no real choice at all. This was all the more dispiriting because Benin was in the vanguard of Africa’s democratic revival in the early 1990s, when its long-serving leader, Mathieu Kérékou, became the first incumbent president on the continent to let his people peacefully vote him out of office

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Press freedom in Ethiopia has blossomed. Will it last?

ESKINDER NEGA founded his first newspaper, Ethiopis, in 1993. After seven issues it was forced to close, the first paper charged under a muzzling law introduced by the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), which had shot its way to power two years before. Three more of Eskinder’s newspapers were shut down by the courts

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