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Presidential TV Debate being Organised

Preparations are underway to hold the first-ever live presidential TV debates in Georgia.

The International Foundation of Election Systems (IFES), with the support of USAID, is organising the event. So-called “qualified candidates” (those nominated by political parties that won at least 4% of the vote in the last parliamentary elections and at least 3% of the vote in the last local election) have already been invited to participate in an hour-long debates planned to be aired by four networks — Georgian Public Broadcaster, Imedi, Mze, and Rustavi 2 – on December 30.

Invitations were issued on 21 December to the campaign offices of Levan Gachechiladze, Davit Gamkrelidze, Mikheil Saakashvili and Shalva Natelashvili. All, except for Saakashvili, have accepted, according to IFES.

Most of leading opposition presidential contenders, including Gachechiladze, Gamkrelidze and Natelashvili, have previously signalled their readiness to participate in the debates, but only if Saakashvili participates, too. Saakashvili said in a televised interview on November 25 that he was amenable to “an issue-based debate.”

IFES said they planned on having moderators from the four television stations who would each have 20 minutes to ask the candidates questions on pre-arranged topics. The candidates would also be given time to make a closing statement. The stations themselves will each select a moderator.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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