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Monday, March 8, 1999 Published at 12:41 GMT

World: Africa

Nigeria elections timeline

PDP party members vote for a presidential candidate

March 1999

Nigeria frees coup plotters (4 March)
Nigeria's outgoing military government pardons 95 people jailed for allegedly plotting coups against the former leader General Sani Abacha.

Nigeria promised transparent government (2 March)
President-elect Olusegun Obasanjo promises to rebuild the country with "an open and fair and transparent government" when he takes office.

Obasanjo aims for unity amid fraud claims (2 March)
The President-elect says he will work to restore faith in democracy, while his rival, Olu Falae, accuses Mr Obasanjo's supporters of "monumental" vote-rigging.

Olu Falae tells the BBC of alleged voting fraud
John Simpson in Lagos on the reports of ballot rigging

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Obasanjo wins (1 March)
General Olusegun Obasanjo officially wins the Nigerian presidential election, which is due to lead to a civilian government after 15 years of military rule.

February 1999

Obasanjo heads for victory (28 February)

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Nigeria's former military ruler General Olusegun Obasanjo has taken a commanding lead in the presidential election, but his rival says the poll was neither free nor fair

Election round-up (27 February)
The BBC World Service Focus on Africa programme hears from local correspondents about the elections.

Nigeria breaks with military past (27 February)
Some vote-rigging reported (27 February)
Nigerians voted in an orderly presidential election, though there were concerns of vote rigging in some areas.

Decision day for Nigeria (27 February)
Polls open in Nigeria's historic presidential elections, which are intended to mark the end of more than 15 years of military rule.

"Maybe it is time for a new era" (26 February)
World Affairs Editor John Simpson reports.

Nigeria holds last rallies (25 February)
Final rallies take place on the last official day of campaigning before Saturday's presidential election.

BBC World Service election special (25 February)
In a BBC World Service special programme, Akwe Amosu and guests look ahead at the prospects for a free and fair vote.

Obasanjo faces election challenge (24 February)
Support grows for Obasanjo (24 February)
As the presidential election campaign enters its final phase, both vice-presidential hopefuls visit River State in the south of the country, and a group of prominent politicians defects from the All Peoples Party.

Presidential candidate Olu Falae talks to the BBC
(24 February)

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Obasanjo's party wins Nigeria poll (22 February)
The People's Democratic Party secures an absolute majority in both the Senate and House of Representatives.

Nigeria's date with democracy (20 February)
Nigerians begin voting in the elections for a National Assembly.

TV debate turns to farce (17 February)
A planned television debate between Nigeria's two presidential candidates turned into a farce when one of them failed to turn up.

Lagos prepares for the polls
Barnaby Phillips reports.

Two to contest Nigerian presidency (16 February)
After weeks of political wrangling, the All People's Party and the Alliance for Democracy name Nigeria's former finance minister, Olu Falae, as their candidate in the upcoming presidential elections.

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Ex-general favourite to lead Nigeria (15 February)
Twenty years after leaving power, former military ruler Olusegun Obasanjo wins the presidential nomination of the Peoples' Democratic Party (PDP).

Nigerian presidential deadline looms (14 February)
All three of Nigeria's parties continue to deliberate on their presidential candidates as the deadline to submit the names looms.

January 1999

Nigerian parties form electoral alliance: The leaders of two of the three political parties contesting the Nigerian elections, the Alliance for Democracy and the All People's Party, announce their intention to field a single presidential candidate as well as joint candidates for parliament. (26 January)

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Nigeria electoral pact in difficulties: Reports from Nigeria say an alliance between the country's second and third largest political parties has run into difficulties with both the Alliance for Democracy and the All Peoples Party insisting that it provides the joint presidential candidate. (24 January)

Clear winner in Nigeria polls (9 January)
The centre-left People's Democratic Party (PDP) clearly wins Nigeria's state elections.

December 1998

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Three Nigerian parties qualify for polls (15 December)
Nigeria's National Electoral Commission announces that three of the nine political parties that contested local elections will be allowed to participate in the state and national elections.

Obasanjo's party wins Nigerian poll (10 December)
Amid accusations of fraud, the People's Democratic Party comes out on top in the first round of Nigeria's transitional elections.

Monitors cheer Nigeria polls (6 December)
International observers praise Nigeria's local elections, saying they augur well for state and national elections due early next year.

Era of coups over - military leader (1 December)
Nigeria's military ruler tells his fellow soldiers to be prepared to relinquish power for ever once a civilian government has been installed.

November 1998

Nigeria eases rules for political parties: Nigeria's National Electoral Commission announces new rules easing qualifications for political parties to take part in the presidential and legislative elections. After complaints that the rules were too strict, it determines parties only have to win 5% of the vote in each of the 24 states instead of 10%. (20 November)

October 1998

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Nigerians register to vote (5 October)
Voter registration gets under way in Nigeria for elections which are intended to lead to a handover to civilian government next year.

Nigerian constitution to be redrawn (1 October)
General Abubakar tells the nation he is finalising changes to a new draft document intended to be "more representative and acceptable" than the existing constitution.

August 1998

Parties begin registering in Nigeria: Political parties begin to register with the country's electoral commission. It is decreed that only parties with broad-based national support are allowed to contest the elections. (27 August)

Nigeria leaders set poll date (25 August)
The Nigerian authorities announce a date for presidential elections, as part of the country's transition to democratic rule.

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