Beninese presidential election, 1996

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Presidential elections were held in Benin in March 1996. The first round, held on 3 March, saw no candidate gain over 50% of the vote, resulting in a second round held on 18 March. Mathieu Kérékou, a former military dictator who had come second in the first round, was victorious in the second round, beating incumbent Nicéphore Soglo, after gaining the backing of the third- and fourth-placed candidates.[1] Kérékou received very strong support from northern voters,[2] but he also improved his performance in the south compared to the 1991 election.[1]

Soglo alleged fraud, but this was rejected by the Constitutional Court (who had annulled 22% of the votes in the first round),[3] which confirmed Kérékou's victory.[4] Voter turnout was 87.8% in the first round and 77.6% in the second round.[3]


Candidate Party First round Second round
Votes % Votes %
Nicéphore Soglo Renaissance Party of Benin 596,371 35.69 904,626 47.51
Mathieu Kérékou Independent 567,084 33.94 999,453 52.49
Adrien Houngbédji Democratic Renewal Party 329,364 19.71
Bruno Amoussou Social Democratic Party 129,731 7.76
Pascal Fontondji Communist Party of Benin 17,977 1.08
Lionel Agbo Independent 15,418 0.92
Léandre Djagoué Independent 15,079 0.90
Invalid votes 540,653 54,776
Total 2,211,677 100 1,958,855 100
Registered voters/turnout 2,517,970 87.8 2,524,262 77.6
Source: Nohlen et al.


  1. ^ a b 'Kunle Amuwo, "The State and the Politics of Democratic Consolidation in Benin, 1990–1999", in Political Liberalization and Democratization in Africa (2003), ed. Ihonvbere and Mbaku.
  2. ^ "World News Briefs; Benin Presidential Vote Heads for a Runoff", The New York Times, March 6, 1996.
  3. ^ a b Nohlen, D, Krennerich, M & Thibaut, B (1999) Elections in Africa: A data handbook, p95 ISBN 0-19-829645-2
  4. ^ Benin, Year in Review: 1996,