The rule of the French came to an end in 1958, after decades of colonialism. After Dahomey had chosen to break free, Benin was declared in the year 1960.The first elected president of Benin was Hubert Maga who had his regime interrupted by the coup three years after the country’s independence.
This coup was to be the first in Benin. Series of political upheavals truncated Benin’s buildup of its national identity. The regime of President Kerekou brought stability to the country. His visionary leadership styles led to the rebirth of a country that was aligning less with the French interest.
Within the West Africa sub region, the first country to make transitions from the rule of dictatorship and embrace multiparty democracy in the 90s was Benin. Under its newly formed constitution, the tenure of the presidency was stipulated to span for five years and was restricted to just two terms. The president was vested with the authority to nominate his cabinet members. The parliament members were elected for just 4 years period while the country’s National Assembly assembles twice every year.
In the 1990s, several political parties were formed; however, the power to form alliance and become a successful political party lied in the skills to negotiate. Several elections that took place in the 90s manifested the same old typical patron and clients’ affiliation. Regional and ethic division with violence characterized the election processes.
|Presisdent H.E. Thomas Yayi Boni of Benin.
Benin is basically split into 6 regions having in total 84 districts. The commercial capital of The Republic of Benin is Porto-Novo, however, the government seat is situated in Cotonou. The role of the Beninese military is restricted to carryout domestic operation and protecting external invasion even though the military has toppled civilian rule severally. In the socialist regime, government assisted the growth of agro business activities in the country scaling up production via rural developmental projects.
The Benin president serves as the head of state as well as the head of the government respectively. The country has several parties hence a multi-party system state. The government exercises the executive power while legislative is executed by the legislatures and the government as well. The judiciary operates independently. The 1990 constitution was adopted to help develop the political system in Benin.
The Constitution of Benin
The new constitution of Benin was fully adopted in 1990. The adoption of this constitution paved way for the entrenchment into the law freedom of press, accountability, freedom of religion, judiciary independence, the right to engage in strike, transparency and universal suffrage. The adoption of the constitution has brought about tremendous economic growth in the country.
The Presidents of Benin from 1972 to 2016
From 1972 -1991 & From 1996 -2006 (Mathieu Kerekou), PRPB
From 2006 – 2015 President Yayi Boni
June 18th 2015 Prime Minister Lionel Zinsou
April 23th 2016 President Patrice Talon
The candidate for the presidency of Benin must be:
A citizen of the Republic of Benin.
Between 40 (fourth) to 70 (seventy) years of age.
Lives in the country during the election period.
Be ascertained physically and mentally ok by at least 3 doctors.
The Legislative System in Benin
The Benin parliament is the primary legislative organ known as the national assembly. Legislators are elected by the people every 4 years while the president has a 5 years term in the office. Eighty three legislative seats are available. The Beninese armies constitutionally are not allowed to participate in any government politics except they formally resign their position from the military.
Do You Know?
That the highest court of jurisdiction in Benin is the Supreme Court and that private citizens are vested with the power to challenge the government?