The latest positions on the various electoral lists have revived the eternal debate on the renewal of the political class. Several months in advance, a campaign launched from nowhere and whose authors no one knows had led everyone to believe that the political parties, especially those tied to power, were preparing to thoroughly clean up the political stable . That committed young activists and unconditional supporters of the parties should have their chances this time around. On purpose, the reform on the capping of legislative mandates at three was brandished to encourage them to believe in their chances.
Wasn’t the trend observed during the 2020 municipal elections, where several accomplished thirty- and forty-somethings became the new landlords of hotels across the country? They have even been fished out from among the students and from the large family of those who are called “economic operators” and who today swell the numbers of the parties. There is therefore enough to motivate all those who, like their elders, have discovered political vocations without having, for the most part, either the talent or the quality. The tropism observed afterwards no longer surprised well-informed people who saw the matter as too easy. Like swarms of bees, young people rushed to political parties. To complete the parody and the ambush of these young people “ rushed and impatient », our gerontocratshave set up committees for collecting profiles and volunteers at the post of deputy. And wow…we saw all the specimens. Young people barely known in the houses where they rented pied-à-terre struggled for days to ask for tax clearances.
And there, they got them pretty quickly since they had almost nothing to declare to the tax authorities. We have also seen real jokers, barely mature politically, aligning twisted reasoning and arguing to take advantage of the “vacuum” to position themselves. Some quickly rushed to solicit ducks from their brood to solicit headlines and headlines, so that they were presented as men of situation in their various fiefdoms. Besides the great mass of opportunists eager to become honourable, there was also a less negligible quantity of brave young people, founding members and committed militants of the parties who entered the race. Like the jackpot of jokers, they were also carried away by the trend of the moment which made believe that the cycle was over within the parties.
We were there hoping for “new generation” lists when the passage of each other shows another face of the situation. Deputies proudly counting three, four, five legislatures, all returned. Ditto for former ministers who have been out of political scarcity for several years. Last-minute transhumant ministers even had the privilege of being at the top of the list. In the youth camp, it is mourning and desolation. But these positions that must be decried and condemned elsewhere are only the products of a system. Since 1990, money has been the master, the determinant and the primary reason for the political game.
If you are wealthy, you have the visa to enter politics in Benin. You may be a non-partisan or the last militant of the party, if you have money to do charitable works in your region, to campaign with hard cash, to pay for the necessary “com” in the media… you will be elected. Your profession, your moral qualities, your vision for the country, your leadership qualities and the eloquence and relevance of your speeches will hardly make you a politician. Money was therefore the eliminatory criterion for most of these young people who nevertheless deserved to have this experience. Because, it must be said, those who are called “young” in politics in Benin are no longer so. Many in their forties and fifties, they whitewashed under the harness by being called to order each time to wait their turns.
Many of these “young people” are by far the big brothers or even the dads of Jordan Bardella who at barely 27 years old became President of the National Rally (RN), one of the largest political parties in France. But he, like Emmanuel Macron, who became President of the Republic even before he was 40, did not need their pockets to rise to the top. Their intrinsic quality, their eloquence, the relevance of their arguments, the vision of society they carry is enough to take them to the pinnacle. They are luckier than their big brothers here who are committed to political service and who are always asked to wait their turns.Lazare Sehoueto expressed the thoughts of his peers well by saying: “If you (young people) find shoes worn by your big brothers and you like them, wait until they give them to you themselves. Otherwise if you take these shoes from them by force, you will take the shoes but you cannot wear them”.
Is the lesson well understood now? Leave the politics to the elders!