Benin/Government

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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 1999 (next to be held NA March 2003)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PRB 27, PRD 11, FARD-ALAFIA 10, PSD 9, MADEPO 6, Alliance Etoile 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 [Adekpedjou Sylvain AKINDES]; Alliance of the Social Democratic Party or PSD and the National Union for Solidarity and Progress or UNSP [Bruno AMOUSSOU]; Benin Renaissance Party or PRB [Nicephore SOGLO]; Cameleon Alliance or AC [leader NA]; Car-DUNYA [leader NA]; 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; 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 NG [leader NA]; Our Common Cause or NCC [Francois Odjo TANKPINON]; Rally for Democracy and Pan-Africanism or RDP [Dominique HOYMINOU, Dr. Giles Auguste MINONTIN]; The Star Alliance (Alliance E'toile) [leader NA]; Union for National Democracy and Solidarity or UDS [Adamou N'Diaye MAMA]

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