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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 August 2006, 14:04 GMT 15:04 UK
Nigeria sets April election dates
General Obasanjo
President Obasanjo's term in office ends next year
Nigeria has announced that elections to choose a successor to President Olusegun Obasanjo and a new national assembly will be held on 21 April 2007.

Voting for state governors and regional assemblies will take place on 14 April.

The Independent Electoral Commission chairman said preparations for the elections were progressing well.

This could mark the first successful democratic transfer of power from one civilian president to another since Nigerian independence in 1960.

President Obasanjo will have served two terms, the maximum allowed under the constitution, since being elected in 1999.

It is not clear who will be in line to succeed Mr Obasanjo, who has denied favouring any particular successor to the presidency.

Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, who opposed moves to change the constitution so as to allow Mr Obasanjo a third term, is believed to be seeking the nomination of the governing People's Democratic Party (PDP).

Former military ruler Ibrahim Babangida - also a PDP member, and seen as close to Mr Obasanjo - has announced his intention to stand for the presidency, though not necessarily on a party ticket.


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