Benin swears in new parliament after contested vote

COTONOU, Benin (AP) — The West African nation of Benin has inaugurated its new parliament following elections in which opposition parties were banned from taking part.

The domination of the two parties supporting President Patrice Talon led to widespread demonstrations across the country.

Police and military stepped up their surveillance of the National Assembly in the capital of Porto-Novo as the legislators returned on Thursday.

Benin's electoral commission had rejected candidates from opposition parties, saying they did not conform to the country's new electoral code.

The April 28 vote led to violent street demonstrations. Human rights groups said four people were killed.

Authorities also blocked social media around the time of the vote in a bid to quash protesters from organizing online.