International Edition
 COUNTRY  Federal Republic of Nigeria
 ELECTION TYPE  Presidential
 DATE  April 19, 2003 (First Round)
 April 26, 2003 (Second Round)
At stake in this election:
  • The office of the President in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Description of government structure:
  • Chief of State and Head of Government: President Olusegun OBASANJO
  • National Assembly: Nigeria has a bicameral National Assembly which consists of the Senate with 109 seats and the House of Representatives with 360 seats.
Description of electoral system:
  • The president is elected by popular vote to serve a four-year term.
  • Members in both the Senate and House of Representatives are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms.
Results of the presidential race:

  • Presidential candidate: Olesugun OBASANJO
    Party: People’s Democratic Party (PDP)
    Votes Cast: 24,456,140
    Percentage of Votes Cast: 61.94%

  • Presidential candidate: Muhammadu BUHARI
    Party: All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP)
    Votes Cast: 12,710,022
    Percentage of Votes Cast: 32.19%

  • Presidential candidate: Chief Emerka ODUMEGWU-OJUKWU
    Party: All Peoples Grand Alliance (APGA)
    Votes Cast: 1,297,445
    Percentage of Votes Cast: 3.29%

  • Presidential candidate: Chief NWOBODO Jim Ifeanyichukwu
    Party: United Nigeria Peoples Party (UNPP)
    Votes Cast: 169,609
    Percentage of Votes Cast: 0.43%

  • Presidential candidate: Alhaji Chief Ganiyu FAWEHINMI
    Party: National Conscience Party (NCP)
    Votes Cast: 161,333
    Percentage of Votes Cast: 0.41%

  • Presidential candidate: Sarah N. JIBRIL
    Party: Progressive Action Congress (PAC)
    Votes Cast: 157,560
    Percentage of Votes Cast: 0.40%

  • Presidential candidate: Ike Omar Sanda NWACHUKWU
    Party: National Democratic Party (NDP)
    Votes Cast: 132,997
    Percentage of Votes Cast: 0.34%

  • Presidential candidate: Reverend Chris Ogenebrorie OKOTIE
    Party: Justice Party (JP)
    Votes Cast: 119,547
    Percentage of Votes Cast: 0.30%

When was the last presidential election?
  • The last presidential election was held on February 27, 1999. OBASANJO of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) won the presidency by securing 62.8% of the voters cast against opponent Olu FALAE of the All Nigeria People’s Party/Alliance for Democracy (ANPP-AD) who had 37.2% of the votes.
Population and number of registered voters:
  • Population: 129,934,911 (July 2002 estimate)
  • Number of registered voters: 60.8 million (Figure is based on the most recent number of entries recorded on the new electoral register)
Of Interest:
  • Opposition groups are demanding for the presidential results to be deemed invalid due to allegations of fraud and ballot-rigging in various polling stations.
  • Potential weaknesses in the upcoming elections include inability to curb violence and fraud at the polls, as well as concerns over a high number of spoiled/invalid votes, and the lack of sufficient funds for poll workers and materials at poll stations. There is also a problem in size of the ballot given that 30 political parties are contesting the elections.
  • According the opinion polls BUHARI of the ANPP and OBASANJO of the PDP are seen as the strongest contenders for the presidency.
  • According to the electoral rules, a presidential candidate must have 25% of the votes from 2/3 of Nigeria’s states to win the first round of elections (meaning the candidate must have ¼ of the votes cast from 25 out of the 37 states including the Federal Capital Territory).
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