Benin profile - Leaders

President-elect: Patrice Talon

Image copyright PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/Getty Images
Image caption Patrice Talon seeks to reduce the number of presidential terms and scale back government

Businessman Patrice Talon, known as the "king of cotton", won the 2016 presidential election in a run-off vote in March, standing as an independent candidate.

In the first round of the election earlier in the month, Mr Talon came second to Prime Minister Lionel Zinsou, the candidate of the governing party, who also had the backing of outgoing President Boni Yayi. In the run-off, Mr Talon got 65% to Mr Zinsou's 35%.

Mr Talon was formerly a close associate of the outgoing president, and financed his campaigns for the 2006 and 2011 elections.

He fled to France after being accused of involvement in an alleged 2012 plot to poison Mr Boni Yayi - an accusation he strongly rejects.

Mr Talon received a presidential pardon in May 2014 and returned from exile in October 2015.

President Talon has tried to cut the size of government and reduce the number of terms a president can serve, but has so far seen his efforts rejected by parliament.