(dpa) – Incumbent President Patrice Talon has won re-election in the West African nation of Benin with 86.4 per cent of the votes, according to provisional results announced Tuesday evening by the electoral commission.

He was followed respectively by rivals Alassane Soumanou of the Cowry Forces for an Emerging Benin (FCBE) party with 11.3 per cent, and the leader of the recently formed Democrats Party Corentin Kohoue with 2.4 per cent of the votes.

Talon, a former cotton businessman, has been in power since 2016. In that time he has been accused of cracking down on the opposition.

At least five opposition figures have been detained under his rule, according to the Institute of Security Studies (ISS).

Last month, opposition politician Reckya Madougou was arrested on charges related to disrupting the election.

The former French colony has a population of around 12 million. Around 50 per cent of the 5.5 million eligible voters took part in Sunday’s presidential vote, according to the electoral commission.

Voting had been disrupted by several violent demonstrations over Talon’s efforts to seek re-election.

The central city of Save, 250 kilometres north of the capital Cotonou, saw protests that prevented voters from casting their ballots.

The Constitutional Court must confirm the results within 10 days.

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