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Benin: Government#

Country nameconventional long form: Republic of Benin
conventional short form: Benin
local long form: Republique du Benin
local short form: Benin
former: Dahomey
CapitalPorto-Novo (official capital); Cotonou (seat of government) Porto-Novo (official capital), Cotonou (seat of government)
geographic coordinates: 6 29 N, 2 37 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions12 departments; Alibori, Atakora, Atlantique, Borgou, Collines, Kouffo, Donga, Littoral, Mono, Oueme, Plateau, Zou
Constitutionprevious 1946, 1958 (preindependence); latest adopted by referendum 2 December 1990, promulgated 11 December 1990 (2012)
Executive branchchief of state: President Thomas YAYI Boni (since 6 April 2006); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Thomas YAYI Boni (since 6 April 2006); Prime Minister Pascal KOUPAKI (since 28 May 2011)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); last held on 13 March 2011 (next to be held in March 2016)
election results: Thomas YAYI Boni re-elected president; percent of vote - Thomas YAYI Boni 53.1%, Adrien HOUNGBEDJI 35.6%, Abdoulaye Bio TCHANE 6.1%, other 5.2%
Flag descriptiontwo equal horizontal bands of yellow (top) and red (bottom) with a vertical green band on the hoist side; green symbolizes hope and revival, yellow wealth, and red courage
note: uses the popular Pan-African colors of Ethiopia
Independence1 August 1960 (from France)
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court or Cour Supreme (consists of the court president and 3 chamber presidents organized into an administrative division, judicial chamber, and chamber of accounts) Constitutional Court or Cour Constitutionnelle (consists of 7 members including the court president); High Court of Justice (consists of the Constitutional Court members, 6 members appointed by the National Assembly, and the Supreme Court president)
note - jurisdiction of the High Court of Justice is to limited cases of high treason by the national president or members of the government
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court president and judges appointed by the national president upon the advice of the National Assembly; judges appointed for single renewable 5-year terms; Constitutional Court members - 4 appointed by the National Assembly and 3 by the national president; members appointed for single renewable 5-year terms; High Court of Justice "other" members elected by the National Assembly; member tenure NA
subordinate courts: Court of Appeal or Cour d'Appel; district courts; village courts; Assize courts
Legal systemcivil law system modeled largely on the French system and some customary law
Legislative branchunicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (83 seats; members are elected by direct popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held on 30 April 2011 (next to be held in 2015)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - FCBE 41, UN 30, other 12
International organization participationACP, AfDB, AU, CD, ECOWAS, Entente, FAO, FZ, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINUSMA, MONUSCO, NAM, OAS (observer), OIC, OIF, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNISFA, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WAEMU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
National holidayNational Day, 1 August (1960)
Political pressure groups and leadersother: economic groups; environmentalists; political groups; teachers' unions and other educational groups
Political parties and leadersBe African Movement for Democracy and Progress or MADEP (Sefou FAGBOHOUN); Alliance of Progress Forces or AFP; Benin Renaissance or RB (Rosine SOGLO); Democratic Renewal Party or PRD (Adrien HOUNGBEDJI); Force Cowrie for an Emerging Benin or FCBE (Yayi BONI); Impulse for Progress and Democracy or IPD (Theophile NATA); Key Force or FC (Lazare SÈHOUÉTO); Movement for the People's Alternative or MAP (Olivier CAPO-CHICHI); Rally for Democracy and Progress or RDP (Dominique HOUNGNINOU); Social Democrat Party or PSD (Emmanuel GOLOU); Union for Democracy and National Solidarity or UDS (Sacca LAFIA); Union for the Relief or UPR (Issa SALIFOU); Union Makes the Nation or UN (Adrien HOUNGBEDJI) (superceded Alliance for Dynamic Democracy or ADD)
note: approximately 20 additional minor parties
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Government typerepublic
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Omar AROUNA (since 21 May 2014)
chancery: 2124 Kalorama Road NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: (1) (202) 232-6656
FAX: (1) (202) 265-1996
National anthemname: "L'Aube Nouvelle" (The Dawn of a New Day)
lyrics/music: Gilbert Jean DAGNON
note: adopted 1960
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
National symbol(s)leopard
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador Michael RAYNOR (since 24 May 2012)
embassy: Rue Caporal Bernard Anani, Cotonou
mailing address: 01 B. P. 2012, Cotonou
telephone: (229) 21-30-06-50
FAX: (229) 21-30-66-82