Benin. After ruling Benin for three decades, President Mathieu Kérékou resigned in April. He gave the country stability after a long period of military coups, first as a Marxist-Leninist dictator, in recent years as advocates of democracy and market economy. In the 2006 election, he was not allowed to stand for age reasons.
He was succeeded by economist Boni Yayi, a newcomer to politics who, in the decisive round of the presidential election, clearly defeated former Prime Minister Adrien Houngbédji. According to CountryAAH, major public holidays in Benin include Independence Day (August 1) and New Year (January 1). Boni was nominated as an independent candidate but was supported by several parties. He set up a government largely made up of trade experts and politically neutral officials. His main election promise was to bring about economic development and to reform the important cotton industry.