List of presidents of Benin

  (Redirected from President of Dahomey)

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

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

since 6 April 2016
ResidencePresidential Palace, Porto-Novo
Term length5 years, renewable once
Inaugural holderHubert Maga
Formation31 December 1960
Salary29,810 USD annually[1]

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 officeEdit


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 officeEdit

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.


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]


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

List of officeholdersEdit

No. Portrait Name
Elected Term of office Political affiliation Prime minister(s)
Took office Left office Time in office
Republic of Dahomey
1   Hubert Maga
1960 1 August 1960 28 October 1963
3 years, 88 days RDD Himself
  Christophe Soglo
28 October 1963 25 January 1964 89 days Military Position abolished
2   Sourou-Migan Apithy
1964 25 January 1964 27 November 1965
1 year, 306 days PDD Ahomadégbé-Tomêtin
  Justin Ahomadégbé-Tomêtin
27 November 1965 29 November 1965 2 days PDD Himself
  Tahirou Congacou
29 November 1965 22 December 1965
23 days PDD Position abolished
3   Christophe Soglo
22 December 1965 19 December 1967
1 year, 362 days Military Position abolished
  Jean-Baptiste Hachème
19 December 1967 20 December 1967 1 day Military Position abolished
  Maurice Kouandété
20 December 1967 21 December 1967 1 day Military Position abolished
  Alphonse Alley
21 December 1967 17 July 1968 209 days Military Kouandété
4   Émile Derlin Zinsou
1968 (Jul) 17 July 1968 10 December 1969
1 year, 146 days Independent Position abolished
  Maurice Kouandété
10 December 1969 13 December 1969 3 days Military Position abolished
  Paul-Émile de Souza
13 December 1969 7 May 1970 145 days Military Position abolished
1   Hubert Maga
7 May 1970 7 May 1972 2 years, 0 days RDD Position abolished
2   Justin Ahomadégbé-Tomêtin
7 May 1972 26 October 1972
172 days PDD Position abolished
5   Mathieu Kérékou
26 October 1972 30 November 1975 3 years, 35 days Military Position abolished
People's Republic of Benin
(5)   Mathieu Kérékou
30 November 1975 1 March 1990 14 years, 120 days Military[f] / PRPB Position abolished
Republic of Benin
(5)   Mathieu Kérékou
1 March 1990 4 April 1991 1 year, 34 days PRPB / Independent Soglo
6   Nicéphore Soglo
1991 4 April 1991 4 April 1996 5 years, 0 days RB Position abolished
(5)   Mathieu Kérékou
4 April 1996 6 April 2006 10 years, 2 days Independent / FARD–Alafia Houngbédji
7   Thomas Boni Yayi
6 April 2006 6 April 2016 10 years, 0 days Independent Koupaki
8   Patrice Talon
2016 6 April 2016 Incumbent 3 years, 361 days Independent Position abolished


  1. ^ Styled as Head of the Provisional Government.
  2. ^ Styled as Chairman of the Revolutionary Committee.
  3. ^ Styled as Chief of Staff of the Army.
  4. ^ Styled as Chairman of the Directory.
  5. ^ a b Styled as Chairman of the Presidential Council.
  6. ^ Retired from the military in 1987, with the rank of a general.[11]

Latest electionEdit

Candidate Party First round Second round
Votes % Votes %
Lionel Zinsou Cowry Forces for an Emerging Benin 858,080 28.43 1,076,061 34.63
Patrice Talon Independent 746,528 24.73 2,030,941 65.37
Sébastien Ajavon Independent 693,084 22.96
Abdoulaye Bio-Tchané Alliance for a Triumphant Benin 262,389 8.69
Pascal Koupaki New Consciousness Rally 177,251 5.87
Robert Gbian Generations for Republican Governance 46,634 1.54
Fernand Amoussou Alliance of Forces of the Future 35,390 1.17
Issa Salifou Union for Relief 30,855 1.02
Aké Natonde Path of Benin 26,501 0.88
Nassirou Bako Arifari Amana Alliance 19,012 0.63
Mohamed Atao Hinnouho Résoatao Party 12,441 0.41
Saliou Youssao Aboudou 12,215 0.40
Bertin Koovi Iroko Alliance 11,292 0.37
Richard Senou 8,123 0.27
Karimou Chabi Sika Independent 7,351 0.24
Zul-Kifl Salami National Party of Congress 6,782 0.22
Elisabeth Agbossaga Union for Development and Reform 5,802 0.19
Issifou Kogui N'douro Independent 5,130 0.17
Zacharie Cyriaque Goudali 6 May Movement 4,998 0.17
Kamarou Fassassi Independent 4,820 0.16
Gabriel Ayivi Adjavon 4,371 0.14
Marcel de Souza Republican Front of Benin 4,247 0.14
Azizou El-Hadj Issa Independent 4,143 0.14
Omer Rustique Guezo 3,999 0.13
Jean-Alexandre Hountondji New March 3,893 0.13
Daniel Edah Movement for Prosperity and Solidarity 3,694 0.12
Marie-Elise Gbèdo 3,597 0.12
Christian Enock Lagnide 3,391 0.11
Issa Badarou Soule 3,380 0.11
Simon Pierre Adovelande Independent 2,858 0.09
Moudjaidou Soumanou Issoufou 2,648 0.09
Gatien Houngbedji Union for Economic and Social Development 2,287 0.08
Kessile Tchala Sare 1,272 0.04
Invalid/blank votes 116,530 31,622
Total 3,134,988 100 3,138,624 100
Registered voters/turnout 4,746,348 66.05 4,746,348 66.13
Source: Constitutional Court (first round, second round)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "The highest and lowest paid African presidents - Business Daily".
  2. ^ a b Article 42 of the Constitution of 1990.
  3. ^ Article 43 of the Constitution of 1990.
  4. ^ Article 44 of the Constitution of 1990.
  5. ^ a b c Article 45 of the Constitution of 1990.
  6. ^ Article 46 of the Constitution of 1990.
  7. ^ a b Article 47 of the Constitution of 1990.
  8. ^ Article 53 of the Constitution of 1990.
  9. ^ a b c d Article 50 of the Constitution of 1990.
  10. ^ a b c Elections in Benin African Elections Database
  11. ^ "Mathieu Kérékou, Dictator Who Ushered In Democracy in Benin, Dies at 82". The New York Times. October 15, 2015. Retrieved March 11, 2019.

External linksEdit