The electoral commission on Tuesday has told political parties in Nigeria to select their candidates for the 2019 presidential election between August 18 and October 7 this year.
Presidential and parliamentary elections will be held on Feb. 16, 2019, marking the end of President Muhammadu Buhari’s first term. The President however, is yet to make public his intentions if he will seek re-election.
The timetable published by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) stated that official campaigns for the presidential parliamentary elections would begin on November 18.
“The Commission wishes to assure Nigerians that we are determined to strictly adhere to the timetable and schedule of activities,” INEC said in a statement.
Buhari, 75, took office in May 2015 after winning elections that year following a campaign in which he vowed to crack down on endemic corruption and crush the Boko Haram Islamist insurgency in the northeast.
It is common practice for the campaign to re-elect a Nigerian president to begin with such support groups before the incumbent declares an intention to run again.
Atiku Abubakar, a former vice president and key Buhari ally, quit the ruling All Progressives Congress and said he was prepared to run in 2019. He joined the opposition People’s Democratic Party last month.