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Benin Government




Benin    Government Top of Page
Country name: conventional long form:  Republic of Benin

conventional short form:  Benin

local long form:  Republique du Benin

local short form:  Benin

former:  Dahomey
Government type: republic under multiparty democratic rule; dropped Marxism-Leninism December 1989; democratic reforms adopted February 1990; transition to multiparty system completed 4 April 1991
Capital: Porto-Novo is the official capital; Cotonou is the seat of government
Administrative divisions: 6 provinces; Atakora, Atlantique, Borgou, Mono, Oueme, Zou; note - six additional provinces have been reported but not confirmed; they are Alibori, Collines, Couffo, Donga, Littoral, and Plateau; moreover, the term "province" may have been changed to "department"
Independence: 1 August 1960 (from France)
National holiday: National Day, 1 August (1960)
Constitution: December 1990
Legal system: based on French civil law and customary law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state:  President Mathieu KEREKOU (since 4 April 1996); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

head of government:  President Mathieu KEREKOU (since 4 April 1996); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

cabinet:  Council of Ministers appointed by the president

elections:  president reelected by popular vote for a five-year term; runoff election held 22 March 2001 (next to be held NA March 2006)

election results:  Mathieu KEREKOU reelected president; percent of vote - Mathieu KEREKOU 84.1%, Bruno AMOUSSOU 15.9%

note:  the four top-ranking contenders following the first round presidential elections were: Mathieu KEREKOU (incumbent) 45.4%, Nicephore SOGOLO (former president) 27.1%, Adrien HOUNGBEDJI (National Assembly Speaker) 12.6%, and Bruno AMOUSSOU (Minister of State) 8.6%; the second round balloting, originally scheduled for 18 March, was postponed four days because both SOGOLO and HOUNGBEDJI withdrew alleging electoral fraud; this left KEREKOU to run against his own Minister of State, AMOUSSOU, in what was termed a "friendly match"
Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (83 seats; members are elected by direct popular vote to serve four-year terms)

elections:  last held 30 March 1999 (next to be held NA March 2003)

election results:  percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - RB 27, PRD 11, FARD-ALAFIA 10, PSD 9, MADEP 6, E'toile 4, Alliance IPD 4, Car-DUNYA 3, MERCI 2, other 7
Judicial branch: Constitutional Court or Cour Constitutionnelle; Supreme Court or Cour Supreme; High Court of Justice
Political parties and leaders: African Movement for Democracy and Progress or MADEP [Sefou FAGBOHOUN]; Alliance for Democracy and Progress or ADP [Sylvain Adekpedjou AKINDES]; Alliance of the Social Democratic Party or PSD and the National Union for Solidarity and Progress or UNSP [Bruno AMOUSSOU]; Cameleon Alliance or AC [leader NA]; Car-DUNYA [Saka SALEY]; Communist Party of Benin or PCB [Pascal FANTONDJI, first secretary]; Democratic Renewal Party or PRD [Adrien HOUNGBEDJI]; Front for Renewal and Development or FARD-ALAFIA [Jerome Sakia KINA]; Impulse for Progress and Democracy or IPD [Bertin BORNA]; Liberal Democrats' Rally for National Reconstruction-Vivoten or RDL-Vivoten [Severin ADJOVI]; Movement for Citizens' Commitment and Awakening or MERCI [Severin ADJOVI]; New Generation for the Republic or NGR [Paul DOSSOU]; Our Common Cause or NCC [Francois Odjo TANKPINON]; Party Democratique du Benin or PDB [Col. Soule DANKORO]; Rally for Democracy and Pan-Africanism or RDP [Dominique HOYMINOU, Dr. Giles Auguste MINONTIN]; Renaissance Party du Benin or RB [Nicephore SOGLO]; The Star Alliance (Alliance E'toile) [Sacca LAFIA]; Union for National Democracy and Solidarity or UDS [Adamou N'Diaye MAMA]

note:  the Coalition of Democratic Forces is an alliance of parties and organizations supporting President KEREKOU [Gatien HOUNGBEDJI]
Political pressure groups and leaders: NA
International organization participation: ACCT, ACP, AfDB, CCC, ECA, ECOWAS, Entente, FAO, FZ, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (subscriber), ITU, MIPONUH, MONUC, NAM, OAU, OIC, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMEE, UNTAET, UPU, WADB, WADB (regional), WAEMU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission:  Ambassador Lucien Edgar TONOUKOUIN

chancery:  2737 Cathedral Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone:  [1] (202) 232-6656

FAX:  [1] (202) 265-1996
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission:  Ambassador Pamela E. BRIDGEWATER

embassy:  Rue Caporal Bernard Anani, Cotonou

mailing address:  B. P. 2012, Cotonou

telephone:  [229] 30-06-50, 30-05-13, 30-17-92

FAX:  [229] 30-14-39, 30-19-74
Flag description: two equal horizontal bands of yellow (top) and red with a vertical green band on the hoist side

 

Countryfacts Information Courtesy: CIA Worldbook








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