By Karen Ellicott
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Additional info for Cities of the World: Volume 1: Africa
However, a few miles east of the city is one of West Africa’s best beaches, La Crique, where swimming is safe. French Yacht Club, and the Benin Club. Visiting foreign artists also occasionally perform in the city. Benin has no golf courses. The closest are in Lagos, Nigeria, a two-and-a-half-hour drive, or in L o m é , To g o , t w o h o u r s a w a y. Benin’s favorite spectator sport is soccer, and matches are frequently played at the two stadiums in Cotonou. Basketball also is played. m. Nightclubs are crowded and lively with African and European music and atmosphere.
Communications Telephone service interruptions are frequent during the rainy seasons, when water often seeps into underground lines and switching equipment. Service to other francophone West African countries is good; additional international links, if Benin calls can be routed through Paris, also are good. Telephone service to Nigeria and Ghana is rare. S. is good, but expensive. Cotonou is six hours ahead of eastern standard time. The local telegraph and telex service is adequate. Telex facilities in Cotonou are available at post offices and good hotels.
The executive branch of the government is composed of the Chief of State, President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos, Prime Minister (a position which, since the early 1999 government reorganization, is also held by the President), and the Council of Ministers. The Constitution establishes the broad outlines of the government structure and delineates the rights and duties of citizens. The legal system is based on the Portuguese civil and customary law system. It was recently modified to accommodate a multi-party political system and Cities of the World increased use of free-market concepts and is again under revision in the National Assembly.