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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
etymology: named for the Bight of Benin, the body of water on which the country lies
Government typepresidential republic
CapitalPorto-Novo (official capital); note - Cotonou (seat of government) Porto-Novo (official capital), note - 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, Atacora, Atlantique, Borgou, Collines, Couffo, Donga, Littoral, Mono, Oueme, Plateau, Zou
Independence1 August 1960 (from France)
National holidayNational Day, 1 August (1960)
Constitutionprevious 1946, 1958 (preindependence); latest adopted by referendum 2 December 1990, promulgated 11 December 1990 (2016)
Legal systemcivil law system modeled largely on the French system and some customary law
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Benin
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Patrice TALON (since 6 April 2016); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Patrice TALON (since 6 April 2016); Prime Minister (vacant)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); last held on 6 March and 20 March 2016 (next to be held in 2021)
election results: Patrice TALON elected president; first round percent of vote - Lionel ZINSOU (FCBE) 28.4%, Patrice TALON (independent) 24.8%, Sebastien AJAVON (independent) 23.0%, Abdoulaye Bio TCHANE (ABT) 8.8%, Pascal KOUPAKI (NC) 5.9%, other 9.1%; second round percent of vote - Patrice TALON 65.4%, Lionel ZINSOU 34.6%
Legislative branchdescription: unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (83 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote; members serve 4-year terms)
elections: last held on 26 April 2015 (next to be held in April 2019)
election results: percent of vote by party - FCBE 30.2%, UN 14.4%, PRD 10.6%, AND 7.6%, RB-RP 7.1%, other 30.1%; seats by party - FCBE 33, UN 13, PRD 10, AND 5, RB-RP 7, other 15
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 limited to cases of high treason by the national president or members of the government while in office
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
Political parties and leadersAlliance for a Triumphant Benin or ABT (Abdoulaye BIO TCHANE)
African Movement for Development and Progress or MADEP (Sefou FAGBOHOUN)
Benin Renaissance or RB (Lehady SOGLO)
Cowrie Force for an Emerging Benin or FCBE (Yayi BONI)
Democratic Renewal Party or PRD (Adrien HOUNGBEDJI)
New Consciousness Rally or NC (Pascal KOUPAKI)
Patriotic Awakening or RP (Janvier YAHOUEDEOU)
Social Democrat Party or PSD (Emmanuel GOLOU)
Sun Alliance or AS (Sacca LAFIA)
Union Makes the Nation or UN (Adrien HOUNGBEDJI) (alliance superceded Alliance for Dynamic Democracy or ADD)
United Democratic Forces or FDU (Mathurin NAGO)
note: approximately 20 additional minor parties
Political pressure groups and leadersother: economic groups; environmentalists; political groups; teachers' unions and other educational groups
International organization participationACP, AfDB, AU, CD, ECOWAS, Entente, FAO, FZ, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINUSMA, MONUSCO, NAM, OAS (observer), OIC, OIF, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WADB (regional), WAEMU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
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
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador Lucy TAMLYN (since 8 November 2015)
embassy: Caporal Bernard Anani, 01 BP 2012, Cotonou
mailing address: 01 B. P. 2012, Cotonou
telephone: (229) 21-30-06-50
FAX: (229) 21-30-03-84
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
National symbol(s)leopard; national colors: green, yellow, red
National anthemname: "L'Aube Nouvelle" (The Dawn of a New Day)
lyrics/music: Gilbert Jean DAGNON

note: adopted 1960