Maurice Kouandété - 1969 Coup D'état

1969 Coup D'état

In 1969, Kouandété discovered that Zinsou planned to replace him and cut the size of the armed forces. On December 10, 1969, Zinsou was overthrown by Kouandété. Zinsou was met with soldiers firing automatic guns when he arrived at his presidential palace. The former president escaped with an injury, though two of his bodyguards were murdered. Kouandété justified the coup by saying that Zinsou failed to reconcile the country.

The military, however, did not recognize Kouandété. Because the two men could stop quarreling, a Military Directorate was established with Paul Emile de Souza as its chairman, Kouandete a member, and Col. Benoit Sinzogan of the Gendarmie the occupant of the third seat. An election was held on March 28, 1970 to determine the true president. This time, veteran politicians Hubert Maga, Sourou-Migan Apithy, and Justin Ahomadégbé-Tomêtin were allowed to campaign in this election, and they took advantage of the opportunity. Violent outbursts accompanied these campaigns; unvalidated reports state that six people were killed were wounded at incidents in Parakou on the eve of the elections. The elections were later annulled, and a presidential council, which consisted of Maga, Ahomadégbé-Tomêtin, and Apithy, was set up on May 7 with a presidency that changed every two years. Maga inaugurated this system for the first two years. Kouandété had his Chief of Staff status revoked and was forced to be an aide of Alley, who was recently let out of jail. The former was also appointed Deputy Secretary of National Defense.

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