The Democrats (Benin)

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The Democrats
Les Démocrates
LeaderThomas Boni Yayi
PresidentEric Houndété
FounderThomas Boni Yayi
FoundedJuly 2019[1]
Registered11 December 2020[1]
Split fromCowry Forces for an Emerging Benin
HeadquartersCotonou, Benin
Political positionLeft-wing
National Assembly
28 / 109

The Democrats (French: Les Démocrates, LD) is a political party in Benin. Founded and led by former President Thomas Boni Yayi, it is currently the only opposition party represented in the National Assembly following the 2023 Beninese parliamentary election. Ideologically, the party has been described as left-wing.[2]


The Democrats were founded by former President Thomas Boni Yayi in July 2019, and were registered to the Autonomous National Electoral Commission (ANEC) on 11 December 2020, although the party had no elected officials yet at the time.[1] Ahead of the 2023 Beninese parliamentary election, the party announced its intent to contest the election and called for "an inclusive, free, transparent and peaceful ballot."[a] The party also sought to involve the opposition at all levels of the electoral process.[3]

In the parliamentary election, the Democrats obtained 24.16% of the vote and 28 deputies, marking the return of the opposition to the National Assembly after four years of absence.[4] Eric Houndété, the president of the Democrats, dismissed the results, declaring that "the Democratic Party rejects these results, which do not reflect the will of the people to make us the first political force in the country" and making claims of vote buying and ballot stuffing by the two main pro-government parties.[4]


The party is described as ideologically left-wing due to its positions on free education, the role of civil society, and free caesarean sections. During the 2021 Beninese presidential election, the Democrats' electoral program sought to invest massively in the Beninese economy in order to fight against poverty and unemployment among young people.[2]

Electoral history[edit]

Presidential elections[edit]

Year Candidate Running mate Votes % Position Outcome
2021 Corentin Kohoue Irénée Agossa 53,685 2.34 3rd Lost Red XN

Parliamentary elections[edit]

Year Leader Votes % Position Seats +/- Outcome
2023 Thomas Boni Yayi 598,560 24.16 3rd
28 / 109
New Opposition


  1. ^ Original: "réclament un scrutin inclusif, libre, transparent et apaisé."[3]


  1. ^ a b c "Bénin: reconnaissance officielle du parti d'opposition Les Démocrates" [Benin: official recognition of the opposition party Les Démocrates]. Radio France Internationale (in French). 12 December 2020. Retrieved 27 January 2023.
  2. ^ a b "Bénin: démocratie en péril" [Benin: democracy in peril]. Perspective Monde (in French). 9 March 2021. Retrieved 15 January 2022. Les Démocrates sont situés à gauche sur le plan idéologique. Les idées du parti sur la gratuité scolaire, la place de la société civile et la gratuité de la césarienne expliquent ce positionnement.
  3. ^ a b "Bénin: les Démocrates appellent à un scrutin législatif inclusif" [Benin: Democrats call for an inclusive legislative election]. Radio France Internationale (in French). 21 April 2022. Retrieved 27 January 2023.
  4. ^ a b "Au Bénin, le camp présidentiel remporte la majorité au Parlement" [In Benin, the presidential camp wins the majority in Parliament]. Le Temps (in French). 13 January 2023. Retrieved 27 January 2023.