Benin: Government

Republic of Benin Flag
Coat of Arms of Republic of Benin

Key Figures

Chief of State: President Thomas Yayi Boni

Head of Government: President Thomas Yayi Boni


Government Name: Republic of Benin

Constitution: Adopted: 1990; Establishes the state and the sovereign, determines rights and duties of the individual, creates the branches of government, discusses treaties and international agreements, and allows for the revision of the constitution.

Government Type: Republic

Main Powers Election Process Election Cycle Source: ElectionGuide,

The president provides authority over the cabinet of ministers which serves to advise and help formulate strategies.

The president is elected by absolute majority vote through a two-round system.

5 years


The supreme court has the highest level of jurisdiction in legal matters and checks on the executive branch, also acting in a consultative role. The High Court of Justice is made up of members of the constitutional court, parliament, and the president of the supreme court. It is the sole court able to judge the president.

The supreme court president and judges are appointed by the national president upon the advice of the national assembly. For the constitutional court, 4 members are appointed by the national assembly and 3 members are appointed by the national president. The High Court of Justice "other" members are elected by the national assembly.

5-year terms


The national assembly serves as the parliament and primary legislative body of Benin. It exercises legislative power and oversight authority over government action. The constitutional court allows private citizens to challenge the government.

The national assembly is made up of 83 members who are elected through a closed-list proportional representation system.

4 years

International Relations

Foreign Policy Trends: Abroad, Benin has strengthened ties with France, the former colonial power, as well as the United States and the main international lending institutions. Benin also has adopted a mediating role in the political crises in Liberia, Guinea-Bissau, and Togo and provided a contribution to the UN force in Haiti. Benin currently has peacekeeping forces, under the UN aegis, in Cote d'Ivoire and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Benin's democratic standing, stability, and positive role in international peacekeeping have helped Benin's international stature continue to grow. Benin enjoys stable relations with Nigeria, the main regional power. Benin held a seat on the UN Security Council; its membership term ended December 31, 2005. On January 29, 2012 President Yayi was elected to the 1-year post of Chairman of the African Union.

Regional Trade Blocs: ECOWAS

Treaties: Peace and Security Council

Tax Authority: Information not available

Tax Name: Information not available


CIA World Factbook and U.S. Bilateral Relations Fact Sheets except where stated otherwise.