Country overview

Government and legal system: Republic, based on French civil and customary law.

Political trends: A former French colony, Benin gained independence in 1960 and was ruled by military governments until 1972. The early 1990s saw a transition to multiparty democracy. Mathieu Kerekou was elected President in 1996. He stepped down in 2001, and Thomas Yayi Boni, a political independent was elected. Benin is praised as a haven of political stability, and for its government’s fight against corruption.

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