Source: The Brookings Institution
Benin’s constitution was amended in 1995 to allow candidates with dual citizenship to stand for elections and for the diaspora to vote in elections. There are over 4 million Beninois that leave outside of Benin, mostly in other African countries like Nigeria, France and the U.S. The diaspora generally is associated with opposition parties and hence incumbent parties tend to be suspicious of them. However as the number and frequency of multiparty transitions increases all political parties are increasingly courting the diaspora and in some countries the diaspora is represented in the parliament. In the case of Benin, Zinsou, Koupaki, and Bio Tchane—among the top five candidates—all emanate from the diaspora. They spent most of their professional lives abroad working for international organizations, doing business, or serving other functions.