Benin has a republican system of government. The President is both the head of the state and government. The Prime minister heads the Council of Ministers appointed by the President.
The National Assembly is the Parliament of the country and is unicameral. It has 83 directly elected members for a term of four years.
The major political parties in the country include:
- Cauri Forces for an Emerging Benin (FCBE)
- Alliance for Democratic Momentum (ADD)
- Democratic Renewal Party (PRD)
- Key Force (FC)
- Union for Renewal (UPR)
- Coalition for an Emerging Benin (CBE)
- National Union for Democracy and Progress (UNDP)
Currently, Thomas Boni Yayi is the President of the country. (Source: BBC)
The country’s economic freedom score is 56, making Benin the 117th freest economy in the 2011 Index of Economic Freedom. Benin ranks 20th out of 46 countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa region.
The Corruption Perceptions Index is a survey to measure the perceived level of corruption across countries worldwide. Benin is ranked 110th on the index with a score of 2.8 which indicates that the corruption levels in the public departments in the country is fairly high.
Benin has slipped from the CPI rankings in 2010 compared to 2009. It was ranked 106th with a score of 2.9 in 2009 which indicates the perceived levels of corruption in the country has increased.
Freedom of Information
Benin is ranked 70th in the World Press Freedom Index 2010 with a score of 19, indicating that there are limited restrictions on media in the country.
Benin’s constitution guarantees the freedom to media in the country. However, newspapers who publish offensive material are suspended by the concerned authorities.
The various newspapers circulating in the country include:
- Le Matinal
- La Nation
- Le Republicain
- L'Evenement du Jour
The country’s judicial system comprises various courts such as:
- The Supreme Court
- The Constitutional Court
- The High Court of Justice
- The Court of Appeal
- The Sharia Court
- District Courts
- The Customary Court of Appeal
The Supreme Court is the highest court of the country. It hears and decides on cases of administrative and judicial matters. It also decides on disputes regarding local elections.
The Constitutional Court is the highest court in the country's constitutionality. It regulates the functioning of institutions and government activity. The Court is composed of seven members, four appointed by the National Assembly and three by the President of the country for a term of five years.
The High Court of Justice is composed of a Chief Judge and other members chosen by the National Assembly.