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Benin's presidential election campaign to start Friday

COTONOU, Feb.18 (Xinhua) -- The 15-day campaign for the March presidential election in Benin will kick off on Friday, official source on Thursday said.

The National Autonomous Electoral Commission (CENA), the body in charge of election organization, officially disclosed this campaign timeframe in a release in Cotonou, the capital city of Benin.

"Following Constitutional Court decision allowing, on Feb. 11, the presidential election postponement to March 6, due to the lack of voter cards availability, the CENA president informs candidates, the national and international public opinion that the election campaign shall open for 15 days starting from Feb.19 at midnight to end on March 4 at midnight", the CENA release said.

The expected presidential election is the sixth to hold in Benin, since the advent in February 1990 of the democratic renewal in the West African country.

About 4.7 million Beninese voters, with 43,811 people living abroad, are expected to cast their votes on the first round of the presidential election scheduled to March 6.

They will choose among 33 candidates, comprising two lady contestants, the new president to succeed to the incumbent head of State Boni Yayi whose term is to end on April 6.

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