With the end of bipolarism following the crisis of the Soviet bloc, Benin had reoriented in the western sense, abandoning the state ideology inspired by Marxism-Leninism and opening up to multi-partyism. This process, essentially motivated by the serious economic difficulties facing the country at the end of the 1980s and by the progressive dependence on aid from France and Western countries, had taken place peacefully through the convening, in February 1990, of a ‘national conference of forces. lives in the country that had formulated a new constitutional charter and prepared the succession of M. Kérékou, in power since 1972, through regular presidential elections. During the nineties, the Benin maintained relative political-institutional stability, despite the absence of a definite parliamentary majority and the social unrest caused by the economic reforms launched by the government in agreement with the International Monetary Fund.
According to localcollegeexplorer, the new Constitution, with which the country took the name of Repubblica del Benin, was approved following a popular referendum on 2 December 1990 ; it guarantees the adoption of a multi-party political system. Head of State and Executive is the President of the Republic, elected by direct universal suffrage with a five-year mandate renewable once, while legislative power rests with the National Assembly, elected by universal suffrage for four years.
The presidential elections of March 1991 marked the victory of N. Soglo, a World Bank official, former head of the transitional government appointed by Kérékou in February 1990. The new president committed himself to the financial recovery of the country, through a drastic tax reform and the privatization of most of the state-owned industries.
In foreign policy, Soglo intensified relations with Western states, in particular France, and with the countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) of which he was elected president in 1992 and reconfirmed in 1993.
If Soglo’s economic policy significantly contributed to increasing the credibility of Benin on the international level by guaranteeing the country an influx of substantial loans, its impact on civil society in terms of increasing unemployment, reducing social spending and decrease in the salaries of public employees, provoked a worsening of the social conflict and quickly alienated the president the consent of a substantial part of the electorate. Furthermore, the 50 % devaluation of the CFA franc, decided in January 1994, and the consequent increase in inflation (up to 40 %) caused a wave of strikes that paralyzed the public sector in March 1994.. At the same time, Soglo’s government was challenged by parliamentary obstruction to new austerity measures, as well as by growing discontent with what public opinion increasingly identified as an authoritarian and nepotistic management of power. Therefore, in the 1995 legislative elections, although the Parti de la renaissance du Bénin, which Soglo had joined in 1993, had won the largest number of seats, there was an affirmation of the opposition forces gathered around the Parti du renouveau démocratique and the Front d’action pour le renouveau et le développement-Alafia formed by supporters of Kérékou. The alliance between these two parties therefore allowed Kérékou to win in the presidential elections of March 1996. Returned to power thanks to a democratically expressed vote, the former dictator engaged in a policy of national reconciliation, appointing, among other things, as Minister of Finance, M. Mensah of Soglo’s party, and slowing down privatizations, without however compromise relations with the International Monetary Fund. The legislative elections of 30 March 1999 recorded the success of the Parti de la renaissance du Bénin (27 seats), in opposition since 1995, but overall the seats obtained by the parties supporting Kérékou (41) equaled those obtained by the opposition (42).