Official Government Web site: www.gouv.bj
A Republic under a multiparty democratic rule
President/ Head of State/ Head of Government: A one-man-one-vote suffrage to elect the President/Head of Government who may be a member to a Party. His tenure of office is five (5) years and is renewed only once. He should be of Beninese nationality for at least ten (10) years. The vacancy (resignation, death...) of the presidency is filled by the Speaker of the National Assembly. The new Head of State is elected within forty (40) days. The President/ Head of State/ Head of Government addresses the Nation on the state of the Nation in the National Assembly Hall once in a year.
A one-man-one-vote suffrage to elect the Members of Parliament (MP). His 4-year mandate is renewable. There is one MP for 70,000 inhabitants. The vacancy (resignation, death...) at the speakership is filled by his successor elected within fifteen (15) days when the House is in session or at an immediate meeting held in compliance with its rules of procedure. The vacancy of an MP is filled by his substitute also elected in the same manner. There are two ordinary sessions starting within the first fortnight of April and the second fortnight of October respectively. Each session cannot exceed three (3) months. The decision is taken by a simple majority.
Coat of Arms
The Benin Coat of Arms is an escutcheon with:
In the first quarter, a gold Somba castle.
In the second quarter in silver, the Star of Benin painted to the life, that is to say an eight azure point cross with, at its angle, silver radiuses and sand in abyss.
In the third quarter, a sinople silver palmtree laden with heralds.
In the fourth quarter, a ship evocative of European penetration into the Country.
Supporters: Two gold brindled panthers.
Crest: Two horns full of sand with maize in the ear.
Motto: Fraternity, Justice, Labor sandwritten on a lancepennon.
The National Flag was, for the first time, hoisted formally on the independence day, August 1, 1960 to replace the French Flag.
The colors are green, red and yellow:
As explained in the second verse of the National Anthem, the green denotes hope for renewal, the red evokes the ancestors' courage while the yellow calls to mind the country's richest treasures.
But when the country went red in 1975 after a military coup on October 26,1972 the then one-party regime, with its Marxist-Leninist ideology, decided to change the National Flag. It became a plain green flag with a red star on its upper left part.
Fed up with a centrally governed State whose ideology had but retarded the country's development in all fields, a National Conference in which all walks of life participated from February 19 to 28, 1990 decided among other things to re-establish the above-mentioned flag of August 1, 1960.