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Benin Government

    Country name:
    conventional long form: Republic of Benin
    conventional short form: Benin
    local long form: Republique du Benin
    local short form: Benin
    former: Dahomey

    Data code: BN

    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 (1990)

    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 elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held 18 March 1996 (next to be held NA March 2001)
    election results: Mathieu KEREKOU elected president; percent of vote—Mathieu KEREKOU 52.49%, Nicephore SOGLO 47.51%

    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 28 March 1995 (next to be held 28 March 1999)
    election results: percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party—PRB 20, PRD 19, FARD-ALAFIA 10, PSD 7, NCC 3, RDL-VIVOTEN 3, PCB 2, AC 1, RDP 1, other 17

    Judicial branch: Constitutional Court or Cour Constitutionnelle, Supreme Court or Cour Supreme, High Court of Justice

    Political parties and leaders: Alliance for Civic Renewal or ARC [leader NA]; Alliance for Democracy and Progress or ADP [Adekpedjou Sylvain AKINDES]; Alliance of the Social Democratic Party or PSD and the National Union for Solidarity and Progress or UNSP [Bruno AMOUSSOU]; 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 Sacca KINA]; Liberal Democrats' Rally for National Reconstruction-Vivoten or RDL-Vivoten [Severin ADJOVI]; Parti Ensemble [Albert TEVOEDJRE]
    note: as of December 1998, more than 110 political parties were officially recognized; among them are Benin Renaissance Party or PRB, Our Common Cause or NCC, Cameleon Alliance or AC, Rally for Democracy and Pan-Africanism or RDP

    International organization participation: ACCT, ACP, AfDB, ECA, ECOWAS, Entente, FAO, FZ, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO (subscriber), ITU, MINURCA, MIPONUH, NAM, OAU, OIC, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WADB, 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 Robert C. FELDER
    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

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)