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Govt ministers may represent United Russia in TV debates – senior functionary

September 13, 2011, 15:48 UTC+3

If the situation requires, everybody without exception will be ready to go and defend the party’s positions

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MOSCOW, September 13 (Itar-Tass) —— During the current election campaign the party United Russia is firm in its intention to participate in televised debates, the head of the party’s Central Executive Committee, Andrei Vorobyov confirmed at a news briefing on Tuesday. At the same time, responding to a question from Itar-Tass, he did not rule out that the positions of the party will be presented by some government members, who will lead the regional lists.

"We have no restrictions on participation in debates,” he said. “If the situation requires, everybody without exception will be ready to go and defend the party’s positions." It is a totally different matter, Vorobyov said "whether our opponents are willing to confront such serious rivals."

According to the head of United Russia's Central Election Commission, formerly the party refrained from "that farce," which was called debates, but "as the political culture evolves, we all hear more meaningful things, and we welcome such a format."

He said that United Russia is making serious preparations for the debates with its opponents. Whereas four years ago special teams were created to participate in debates, today "we are a team of people who are prepared to defend this or that opinion," depending on the theme or issues, be it the situation in education, health, or social affairs.

"Everywhere there will be professionals," the representative of United Russia’s leadership said. However, he added that the party was unable to oblige any particular participant in the election to appear on the debate podium and "every member of the team makes a decision on one’s own."

"If necessary, I'm sure there will be no restrictions," he confirmed.

The senior UR functionary said that this time the position of United Russia will be defended by representatives of the All-Russia Popular Front, with which the party has teamed up for the elections. Among them, in particular, will be the head of the Union of motorists, Sergei Lysakov, journalist Alexei Pimanov, head of the Pillars of Russia, Sergei Borisov, as well as the head of the Institute for Socio-Economic and Political Studies, Nikolai Fyodorov.


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