Cotonou- Benin (PANA) -- The Benin press widely commented this week on the removal of Rosine Soglo, wife of the former head of state, Nicephore Soglo (1991-1996), from being the head of her political party, Benin's Renaissance (RB), by some of her fellow members.
Le Matin observed that RB is in a grip of an unprecedented crisis since the March presidential election, and that the removal of Rosine Soglo from the RB presidency by a party congress which met in Allada, just adds fuel to fire.
According to the paper, a group of MP's led by Nathaniel Bah (1st vice president of the party) and Guy Adjanohoun, had decided on the creation of a second RB parliamentary group in order to benefit from the financial and material advantages granted to the leaders of parliamentary groups.
As explained by the paper, a trial of strength sprung up after Rosine Soglo turned down such a move, and subsequently ended up dismissing Bah from the party and officially warned Adjanohoun.
L'Informateur focuses in its first edition on "the curious mobilization" of the forces of law and order (60 agents of the Security republican squad) during the rally of the "dissidents" in Allada, and wondered where Nathaniel Bah had managed to get all those forces from.
Such a "mobilisation" will just bear out the allegations according to which Bah has already "set up his intentions in favour of being allied to the government".
La Cloche, forecasting the end of Rosine Soglo's rule, affirms that the latter will not hesitate, on her way back from France where she is vacationing with her husband, to lodge a complaint against thoes who are behind the "coup d'etat" as well as their accomplices.
Yet, the paper affirms, what matters is not the lawsuit per se.
The bottom line is to win the trial, which is not easy, for the dissidents seem to be well-provided.
La Pyramide accuses President Soglo of being the mastermind of that crisis, affirming "that instead of a truce, Nicephore Soglo ought to bring the protagonists around a table in order to scotch the fallings-out".
Better still, the paper adds, President Soglo can convince his dear spouse to return to a better frame of mind by quashing the decision to expel Bah.
The state-run paper, La Nation, has this headline: "Soglo's choice: the party or the spouse?" The gamble of Nathaniel Bah and his followers has, in the short term, come to raise eyebrows as to the crisis RB has been confronted with for several months now.
Could President Soglo keep out of the fray and take up the helm once back? asks the paper.
Between the tranquillity of his home and the cohesion of his party, which has been stirred by his wife, Soglo's choice will surely bring about consequences, basically for himself, says La Nation.
Le Progrès highlights Rosine Soglo's phone interview in which she wonders what gave Bah the right to depose her.
Accoring to the paper, Mrs Soglo, who considers Bah to be a traitor, has threatened to "launch proceedings" so as to show him who is boss.
In the columns of Les Echos du Jour (close to the government), Candide Azannai (standing in for Bah since his dismissal), said that the latter "is carrying out an opposition destabilisation plan".
Analysing the statements and the decisions made by the dissidents, Liberte underlines that President Soglo is the only one who can re-unite the two opposing factions.
He is actually the only one likely to resolve RB's crisis, the paper affirms, adding that the former head of state will surely balk at disowning the position of his wife who entered the political arena just to back him.
Le Republicain focuses on the outcome of the crisis within parliament, pointing out that RB will be weakened by the withdrawal of three MP's supporting Bah, in addition to the five defections which occurred after the presidential election.
The parliamentary opposition will directly suffer the impact of the crisis by losing its members, observes the paper.