The government of Benin has ordered the European Union’s (EU) ambassador to the country, Oliver Nette, to leave the country by December 1, 2019.
According to reports, the German has been accused by the government of interfering in domestic Beninoise affairs.
DW quoted a senior official in the Beninoise government as saying, Nette “has interfered too much in domestic affairs. He constantly calls on civil society to protest against the government.”
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The EU ambassador is also said to have undermined the legitimacy of Benin’s parliament that was constituted in April of this year.
The members of the new legislature were elected under new electoral laws which critics say were designed to keep out opposition party members from running due to certain strict criteria the law set.
On their part, the EU confirmed that the government of Benin informed the European body last week of its decision to sack Nette.
But a spokeswoman adds that “nothing can justify such a measure in the generally good relations that have existed up until now between the EU and Benin.”
Benin goes to the polls in 2020 in a presidential election that sees incumbent Patrice Talon looking to earn a second term.
Talon has, since the beginning of his presidency in 2016, been accused by opposition parties as well as local and international groups of stifling free speech in Benin.