List of presidents of Benin

President of the
Republic of Benin
Flag of Benin.svg
Patrice Talon 2016-04-06.jpg
Incumbent
Patrice Talon

since 6 April 2016
Residence Presidential Palace, Porto-Novo
Term length 5 years, renewable once
Inaugural holder Hubert Maga
Formation 31 December 1960
Salary 29,810 USD annually[1]

This is a list of presidents of Benin (formerly Dahomey) since the formation of the post of President in 1960, to the present day.

A total of seven people have served as President (not counting two acting presidents, several interim military officeholders and a collective presidency). Additionally, one person, Mathieu Kérékou, has served on two non-consecutive occasions.

Description of the office

Election

The President of the Republic shall be elected by direct universal suffrage for a mandate of five years, renewable only one time.[2]

In any case, no one shall be able to exercise more than two presidential mandates.[2]

The election of the President of the Republic shall take place with a uninominal majority ballot in two rounds.[3]

No one may be a candidate for the office of President of the Republic unless:[4]

  1. He is of Béninese nationality at birth or shall have acquired it for at least ten years;
  2. He is of good morality and of great honesty;
  3. He enjoys all his civil and political rights;
  4. He is at least 40 years old but not more than 70 years old at the date of the filing of his candidacy;
  5. He resides in the territory of the Republic of Bénin at the time of the elections;
  6. He enjoys a satisfactory state of physical and mental well-being duly verified by a collegiate board of three doctors sworn and designated by the Constitutional Court.

The President of the Republic shall be elected by an absolute majority of votes cast. If that shall not be obtained in the first round of voting, it shall be followed, after a delay of fifteen days, by a second round.[5]

The only ones who may be presented in the second round of balloting shall be the two candidates who shall have received the greatest number of votes in the first round. In case of the withdrawal of one or both of the two candidates, the next ones shall be presented in the order of their filing after the first balloting.[5]

The candidate having received the relative majority of votes cast in the second round shall be declared elected.[5]

The convocation of the electors shall be made by a decree issued in the Council of Ministers.[6]

The first round of balloting for the election of the President of the Republic shall take place at least thirty days and at most forty days before the expiration date of the powers of the President in office.[7]

The mandate of the new President of the Republic shall take effect by counting from the expiration date of the mandate of his predecessor.[7]

Oath of office

Before taking his office, the President of the Republic shall take the following oath:[8]

Before God, the Manes [spirits] of the ancestors, the Nation and before the Béninese People, the only holder of sovereignty;

I, President of the Republic, elected in accordance with the laws of the Republic do solemnly swear

— To respect and defend the Constitution which the Béninese People have freely given to themselves;

— To fulfill loyally the high office that the Nation has entrusted to me;

— To allow myself to be guided only by the general interest and the respect for human rights to consecrate all my strength to the research and the promotion of the common good, of peace and of national unity;

— To preserve the integrity of the national territory;

— To conduct myself everywhere as a faithful and loyal servant of the people.

In case of perjury, that I shall submit to the severity of the law.

This oath shall be received by the President of the Constitutional Court before the National Assembly and the Supreme Court.

Vacancy

In case of vacancy of the Presidency of the Republic by death, resignation or permanent impediment, the National Assembly shall reconvene in order to rule on the case with an absolute majority of its members. The President of the National Assembly shall refer the matter to the Constitutional Court which shall certify it and declare the vacancy of the Presidency of the Republic. The duties of President of the Republic, with the exception of those mentioned in Articles 54 paragraph 3, 50, 60, 101, and 154 shall be temporarily exercised by the President of the National Assembly.[9]

The election of a new President of the Republic shall take place thirty days at the least and forty days at most after the declaration of the permanent nature of the vacancy.[9]

In case of bringing an accusation of the President of the Republic before the High Court of Justice, his interim shall be assumed by the President of the Constitutional Court who shall exercise all the duties of President of the Republic with the exception of those mentioned in Articles 54 paragraph 3, 58, 60, 101 and 154.[9]

In case of absence from the territory, of illness and of vacation of the President of the Republic, his interim shall be assumed by a member of the Government whom he shall have designated and within the limitation of powers that he shall have delegated to him.[9]

Key

Political parties
Other factions
Status
  •   Denotes Acting/Interim Head of State

List of officeholders

No. Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Elected Term of office Political affiliation Prime minister(s)
Took office Left office Time in office
Republic of Dahomey
1 Hubert Maga 1961 (cropped).png Hubert Maga
(1916–2000)
1960 1 August 1960 28 October 1963
(deposed.)
3 years, 88 days RDD Himself
No image.png Christophe Soglo
(1909–1983)[a]
28 October 1963 25 January 1964 89 days Military Position abolished
2 Sourou Migan Apithy in 1958.jpg Sourou-Migan Apithy
(1913–1989)
1964 25 January 1964 27 November 1965
(resigned.)
1 year, 306 days PDD Ahomadégbé-Tomêtin
Ahomadegbe.jpg Justin Ahomadégbé-Tomêtin
(1917–2002)
27 November 1965 29 November 1965 2 days PDD Himself
No image.png Tahirou Congacou
(1911–1993)
29 November 1965 22 December 1965
(deposed.)
23 days PDD Position abolished
3 No image.png Christophe Soglo
(1909–1983)
22 December 1965 19 December 1967
(deposed.)
1 year, 362 days Military Position abolished
No image.png Jean-Baptiste Hachème
(1929–1998)[b]
19 December 1967 20 December 1967 1 day Military Position abolished
No image.png Maurice Kouandété
(1932–2003)
20 December 1967 21 December 1967 1 day Military Position abolished
No image.png Alphonse Alley
(1930–1987)
21 December 1967 17 July 1968 209 days Military Kouandété
4 Emile Zinsou.jpg Émile Derlin Zinsou
(1918–2016)
1968 (Jul) 17 July 1968 10 December 1969
(deposed.)
1 year, 146 days Independent Position abolished
No image.png Maurice Kouandété
(1932–2003)[c]
10 December 1969 13 December 1969 3 days Military Position abolished
No image.png Paul-Émile de Souza
(1930–1999)[d]
13 December 1969 7 May 1970 145 days Military Position abolished
1 Hubert Maga 1961 (cropped).png Hubert Maga
(1916–2000)[e]
7 May 1970 7 May 1972 2 years, 0 days RDD Position abolished
2 Ahomadegbe.jpg Justin Ahomadégbé-Tomêtin
(1917–2002)[e]
7 May 1972 26 October 1972
(deposed.)
172 days PDD Position abolished
5 Mathieu Kerekou FOCR (cropped).jpg Mathieu Kérékou
(1933–2015)
26 October 1972 30 November 1975 3 years, 35 days Military Position abolished
People's Republic of Benin
(5) Mathieu Kerekou FOCR (cropped).jpg Mathieu Kérékou
(1933–2015)
1980[10]
1984[10]
1989[10]
30 November 1975 1 March 1990 14 years, 120 days Military[f] / PRPB Position abolished
Republic of Benin
(5) Mathieu Kerekou FOCR (cropped).jpg Mathieu Kérékou
(1933–2015)
1 March 1990 4 April 1991 1 year, 34 days PRPB / Independent Soglo
6 Nicéphore Soglo - mars 2012.jpg Nicéphore Soglo
(1934–)
1991 4 April 1991 4 April 1996 5 years, 0 days RB Position abolished
(5) Mathieu Kérékou 2006Feb10.JPG Mathieu Kérékou
(1933–2015)
1996
2001
4 April 1996 6 April 2006 10 years, 2 days Independent / FARD–Alafia Houngbédji
7 Yayi Boni.jpg Thomas Boni Yayi
(1951–)
2006
2011
6 April 2006 6 April 2016 10 years, 0 days Independent Koupaki
Zinsou
8 Patrice Talon 2016-04-06.jpg Patrice Talon
(1958–)
2016 6 April 2016 Incumbent 3 years, 319 days Independent Position abolished

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