THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF BENIN
The National Assembly of Benin is in its nineth legislature and is composed of 109 seats elected for five years by proportional list vote in 24 multi-member constituencies. The house of law is a unicameral one and is the nineth parliament.
Until the year 2023, the law making body of government was composed of 83 seats, filled for four years. However a constitutional revision resulting from the 2019 Beninese political dialogue increased the number of seats to 109, extended the mandate from four to five years, and introduced the 24 seats reserved for women.
The nineth legislature is going to be known in history to have been the shortest, as the Deputies term of office will be cut short from five to three years to allow a transition of electingconcurrently presidential, legislative, and municipal elections beginning in January 2026.
Unique features of the Nineth Legislature
Three political parties are representing the citizens in the National Assembly. They are the
A new electoral code (Law no. 2018-31) was passed by the National Assembly’s Laws Committee on 7 August 2019, sparking a heated controversy over provisions to reduce the number of political parties in the country. Some of the changes include:
• A large increase in the amount of security required by each party to present a list, from 8.3 million FCFA (approximately 23,000 euros) to 249 million CFA francs (approximately 380,000 euros),
• The establishment of the electoral threshold of 10% of the vote at the national level,
• The need for political parties to organize themselves into coalitions, or blocs.
Situated in Port Novo, the National Assembly of Benin represents the legislative power and controls the action of the government.
The National Assembly is governed by a president elected by the members and assisted by a bureau. Any Member may address written or oral questions to the President of the Assembly on its activities and management. The President of the National Assembly acts as President of the Republic in accordance with the Constitution.
The Assembly meets in two ordinary sessions annually, the sessions are held in April and October with each lasting not more than a period of three months. A quorum of half plus one is needed to open a session or else the sitting shall be. The deliberations after the session is opened need no quorum.
The National Assembly may be convened in extraordinary session by its President at the request of the President of the Republic or by an absolute majority of the deputies. The duration of an extraordinary session depends on the agenda set but may not exceed 15 days.
The Constitutional Court has sovereign jurisdiction over the validity of the election of deputies.
Participation of Women
Since the advent of democracy in Benin, the representation rate of women in parliament has never reached 10%.
From 1991 to 2019, the rate was 4.69%
(2015) and 7.23% (2019). respectively.
(2023-2026), a rate of 25.69%
Benin has just made significant progress in terms of women’s representation in the National Assembly, with an increase of 18.4% compared to the previous legislature. At the end of the general elections of January 08, 2023, there were 28 women out of 109 MPs for the 9th parliament (2023-2026), a rate of 25.69%, against 7.23% of women elected for the 8th parliament (2019-2023).
The Head of the National Assembly of Benin Since 1991
– Adrien Houngbédji 1 April 1991-31 March 1995
– Bruno Amoussou 4 April 1995-19 April 1999
– Adrien Houngbédji 20 April 1999-19 March 2003
– Antoine Idji Kolawolé 22 April 2003- 2 March 2007
– Mathurin Coffi Nago 2 March 2007- 23 May 2015(02 terms in a row)
– Adrien Houngbédji 20 May 2015-18 May 2019
– Louis Gbèhounou Vlavonou May 18, 2019 – 2023
–Louis Gbèhounou Vlavonou Feb 12, 2023 –