The Constitutional Court of Benin has ruled that both old and new voter cards can be used for the March 6 presidential elections. This follows the inability of the first body (COS-LEPI), instituted and given the powers to put a new register together from the old and new lists to finish their work before February this year. Consequently, the court has dissolved COS-LEPI and replaced it with a new body, Centre de National Treatment (CNT) which is under seeing the manufacture and distribution of the identity cards. The decision is also to ensure that not many people are disenfranchised if the new cards are not available.
Currently, the problem is that most of the people claim they have either lost or disbanded their old cards when they were told of the new cads and that if the new ones are not distributed, they would be disenfranchised, a situation which could raise the already high political temperature in the country.
Another issue is the over 400, 000 new nationals who have attained 18 years and have written their names in the voter register who would not be able to vote if they don’t get their voters identity cards.
Before they were disbanded, the COS-LEPI said they have distributed 59 per cent of the cards to the electorate.