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The National Assembly and Presidential Elections in Nigeria, 20 and 27 February 1999

image of The National Assembly and Presidential Elections in Nigeria, 20 and 27 February 1999

These Election Reports are the observations, conclusions and recommendations of Commonwealth Observer Groups. The SecretaryGeneral constitutes these observer missions at the request of governments and with the agreement of all significant political parties. At the end of a mission, a report is submitted to the SecretaryGeneral, who makes it available to the government of the country in question, the political parties concerned and to all Commonwealth governments. The report eventually becomes a public document.

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The Campaign and the Media

The campaign for the 20 February 1999 National Assembly elections was overshadowed by the presidential election a week later. We were told that some people felt that the presidential campaign had started as early as August 1998 with General Obasanjo’s announcement that he was willing to stand for the post of President. From December 1998, when three parties – AD, APP and PDP – were given final registration by INEC, many other presidential hopefuls had also come forward. Political parties and the media alike thus began to concentrate on the internal mechanisms by which parties would choose a candidate to run for the presidency. The campaign for the National Assembly elections – and indeed the fact of the elections themselves – appeared to us to be submerged in this focus on the presidential election and the personalities vying for nomination.

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