Benin holds presidential runoff vote as leader to step down

Benin is holding a presidential runoff vote that pits the prime minister against a cotton magnate who was once accused of trying to poison the current president.

Lionel Zinsou, a French-born investment banker who was named prime minister last year, earned 28 percent of the first round of voting on March 6.

Patrice Talon, known locally as "the king of cotton," came in second with 24 percent and has received support during the runoff campaign from other top finishers. Talon has denied plotting to poison President Thomas Boni Yayi and authorities permitted his return from France last October.

Boni Yayi is stepping down after two terms unlike some other African leaders who have extended their rule by amending their countries' constitutions to remove term limits.