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BENIN: Ex-president elected mayor of CotonouCOTONOU, 17 February 2003 (IRIN) - Former president Nicephore Soglo has been elected mayor of Benin's economic capital, Cotonou. Another opposition leader, Adrien Houngbedji, is now mayor of the administrative capital, Porto Novo. Houngbedji is also speaker of the National Assembly.
The two opposition leaders were voted in on Thursday by their respective councils, whose members were elected at municipal polls in December 2002.
Soglo became Benin's head of state in 1991 after beating the incumbent, Matthieu Kerekou, at the country's first multiparty presidential elections following years of single-party rule. However, Kerekou won the polls in 1996 and again in 2002.
Soglo said after his election by 41 of Cotonou's 45 councillors that his priorities would include fighting pollution, cleaning up Cotonou through adequate waste management and improving drainage.