A polling station officer (L) checks the name of a voter at a polling station in Cotonou, Benin, April 11, 2021. Polling stations for the first round of the presidential election in Benin closed on Sunday at 4 p.m. (1500 GMT) and the ballot counting is underway. (Photo by Seraphin Zounyekpe/Xinhua)
COTONOU, April 12 (Xinhua) -- Polling stations for the first round of the presidential election in Benin closed on Sunday at 4 p.m. (1500 GMT) and the ballot counting is underway.
According to the country's election code, polling stations were closed after nine hours of operation.
The ballot counting began at some stations of the economic capital Cotonou and other areas.
About 5 million voters were expected to take part in the first round of voting at 15,531 polling stations throughout the country and 11 others in seven foreign countries.
Taking power in 2016, incumbent President Patrice Talon was seeking a second five-year term.
Talon and his running mate Mariam Talata were facing the opposition duo Corentin Kohoue-Irene Agossa of the Dynamics Restoring Confidence party and Alassane Soumanou-Paul Hounkpe of Cowry Forces for an Emerging Benin.
According to the electoral law, the country's president and vice president are elected by direct universal suffrage for a term of five years and can only be re-elected once. Enditem