On the 26th of Ocotber 1972, the then President of the Republic of
Dahomey was deposed in a coup d'etat led by Major Mathieu Kérékou. He deposed a
system in which three members of a presidential council would rotate power. He overthrew the President Justin Ahomadegbé,
who was placed in house arrest until 1981 alongside the other members of the presidential
governing council who were Hubert Maga and Sourou-Migan Apithy.
|Major Mathieu Kérékou|
In the 1975 Constitution the People's Revolutionary Party of Benin became the only legal political party in the nation. In the 1979 and 1984 elections the party had received 97.9% of the total vote and 98.1% of total votes respectively. This was indisputably due to the fact the nation was ruled as a one party state.
Soon after, Kérékou announced the expropriation of the petroleum industry and the banks. It was during this time that Kérékou earned for the nation the label “Africa's Cuba”. As time progressed, due to the rampant corruption and mismanagement of the planned economy, by the late 1980s the economy was nearing collapse.
to President Kérékou seeking out free market reforms and to him massively
cutting government services, public services and healthcare before he declared
that the country was no longer “Marxist-Leninist”. Effectively over the course
of 14 years Mathieu Kérékou had created a deformed workers’ state before he and
the bureaucracy and decided to reintroduce capitalism.
The Stalinist one party state was formally ended in 1989 when Kérékou decided to allow other parties to run and he was indeed out of power by 1991 when a formal democratization was brought to the nation and capitalism restored.