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Republic of Benin

République du Bénin

Note: President Yayi announced a major cabinet reshuffle on October 23, 2008, but his hopes for a national unity government were compromised by the refusal of several important opposition groups to participate.

Political Status: Independent Republic of Dahomey established August 1, 1960; military regime established October 26, 1972, becoming Marxist one-party system 1972–1975; name changed to People's Republic of Benin on November 30, 1975; name changed further to Republic of Benin on February 28, 1990, by National Conference of Active Forces of the Nation, which also revoked constitution of August 1977; multiparty constitution approved by popular referendum on December 2, 1990.

Area: 43,483 sq. mi. (112,622 sq. km.).

Population: 6,769,914 (2002C); 10,855,000 (2007E).

Major Urban Centers (2005E): PORTO NOVO (240,000), Cotonou (789,000).

Official Language: French.

Monetary Unit: ...

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