Benin Prime Minister Lionel Zinsou on Monday conceded defeat to businessman Patrice Talon in presidential elections.
He said on Monday in Cotonu that he has called the winner Patrice Talon to congratulate him on his victory and wish him luck.
Zinsou and Talon were competing in a second-round run-off vote after neither won an outright majority in the first round of voting on March 6.
A report from Cotonu said Zinsou conceded after early results overnight which gave Talon 64.8 per cent of the vote to Talon, against 35.2 for Zinsou.
Benin wrapped up voting on Sunday in a run-off election that pitted outgoing President Thomas Boni Yayi’s hand-picked successor against his former ally turned political rival in a highly competitive race.
By relinquishing power after serving two terms in office, Boni Yayi stands in contrast to leaders in other African nations, including Burundi, Rwanda and Congo Republic, who have altered their constitutions in order to extend their rule.
Prime Minister Lionel Zinsou, a former economist and investment banker backed by both Boni Yayi and the main opposition Democratic Renewal Party, won a March 6 first round of voting.
However, he has had to overcome the perception that having spent the bulk of his career abroad he is an outsider in his own country.