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Assemblée nationale (National Assembly)

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Parliament name (generic / translated) Assemblée nationale / National Assembly
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) 26 April 2015
Purpose of elections The Cauri Forces for an Emerging Benin coalition (FCBE), supporting President Thomas Boni Yayi, remained the largest party with 33 seats, down from 41. Its ally, the Union for Benin (UB), retained its two seats, thereby giving the pro-presidential camp 35 seats in the 83-member National Assembly.

A proposal to amend the constitution - drafts of which had twice been rejected by the National Assembly - dominated the election campaign, fuelled by speculation that the intention was to lift the two-term limit so President Yayi could seek a third consecutive term in 2016.

The opposition forces organized several rallies in protest, pledging to stop constitutional amendments so as to "save democracy". The FCBE, Sun Alliance and Alliance for a Triumphant Benin (ABT) are reportedly supportive of the amendments. Several key figures left the FCBE prior to the 2015 elections, including the outgoing Speaker Mathurin Nago, who formed the United Democratic Forces (FDU) in March in protest against possible constitutional amendments.

The Build the Nation Union (UN, the opposition coalition in 2011, see note 1) saw an internal split prior to the 2015 elections and its members fielded candidates separately. Nevertheless, the opposition parties submitted Mr. Adrien Houngbédji, President of the Party for Democratic Renewal (PRD), as their joint candidate for Speaker. On 20 May, he was elected with 42 votes (see note 2), defeating the Minister of Economy and Finance, Mr. Komi Koutché, who was endorsed by the FCBE.

Note 1:
The major parties in the coalition in 2011 were the UN, the Rebirth of Benin (RB) and the PRD. The RB, led by the Mayor of Cotonou Nicephore Soglo, allied with the government for a short period after the 2011 elections. In 2015, it formed a coalition with the Patriotic Revival Party (RP).

Note 2:
Prior to the elections, the leaders of the National Alliance for Democracy and Development (AND), the Sun Alliance, the FDU "Reso Atao" party and the Rebirth of Benin (RB) announced that they would support the candidacy of Mr. Houngbédji for the Speaker.
Date of previous elections: 30 April 2011

Date of dissolution of the outgoing legislature: 15 May 2015

Timing of election: Upon normal expiry

Expected date of next elections: April 2019

Number of seats at stake: 83 (full renewal)

Number of candidates: 3,320 (2,990 men, 330 women)*
*Each list needs to comprise the equal number as the seats to be filled and one substitute member for each candidate.

Percentage of women candidates: 9.9%

Number of parties contesting the election: 20

Number of parties winning seats: 11

Alternation of power: N/A (presidential system)

Date of the first session of the new parliament: 16 May 2015

Name of the new Speaker: Mr. Adrien Houngbédji (Party for Democratic Renewal, PRD)
Voter turnout
Round no 126 April 2015
Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
2'945'020 (65.88%)

Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Political Group Candidates Votes %
Cauri Forces for an Emerging Benin (FCBE)
Build the Nation Union (UN)
Party for Democratic Renewal (PRD)
Rebirth of Benin - Patriotic Revival Party (RB-RP)
National Alliance for Democracy and Development (AND)
Sun Alliance
United Democratic Forces (FDU)
Union for Benin (UB)
Alliance for a Triumphant Benin (ABT)
Scout Alliance (Alliance « Éclaireur »)
"Reso Atao" party
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total
Cauri Forces for an Emerging Benin (FCBE) 33
Build the Nation Union (UN) 13
Party for Democratic Renewal (PRD) 10
Rebirth of Benin - Patriotic Revival Party (RB-RP) 7
National Alliance for Democracy and Development (AND) 5
Sun Alliance 4
United Democratic Forces (FDU) 4
Union for Benin (UB) 2
Alliance for a Triumphant Benin (ABT) 2
Scout Alliance (Alliance « Éclaireur ») 2
"Reso Atao" party 1
Distribution of seats according to sex
Percent of women
Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
Source: http://www.cour-constitutionnelle-benin.org/dminutes/cmunike6.pdf

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