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Parties running in State Duma elections to have first debates

November 07, 2011, 3:05 UTC+3
The canvassing period in the media will last till midnight on December 3. After this hour "the day of silence" will come into effect
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MOSCOW, November 7 (Itar-Tass) —— The parties running in the State Duma elections will have first debates on Monday. Just Russia and Right Cause will debate at 1.17 p.m. Moscow time on the radio station Mayak, and the Liberal Democratic Party and Yabloko will argue at the same time on the radio station Vesti FM. The canvassing stage in the media was officially launched back on November 5. However, under the election law, a free canvassing can be conducted on the workdays, therefore, the first debates will be held on Monday.

The first TV debates will be held on Channel One on November 9. The Communist Party and Just Russia will clash at 7 a.m. Moscow time and Right Cause and Yabloko at 6.15 p.m. Moscow time. Arina Sharapova will anchor the debates on the Good Morning program, and Pyotr Tolstoy will anchor the evening debates on Channel One.

Rossiya 1 will broadcast the debates in a political “Duel” talk show with the same anchorman Vladimir Solovyev. The first such “duel” will be held between Yabloko and Patriots of Russia at 10.50 p.m. Moscow time on November 10. Representatives of the parties gave a quite positive evaluation not only of this format of debates, but also its nearly one hour length. Rossiya 1 has made one more new offer to the parties, proposing televised debates on the commercial basis.

The United Russia Party and the Liberal Democratic Party will argue in the debates on the Rossiya 24 TV news channel at 6 p.m. Moscow time on November 10. This television channel participates in the election campaign for the first time. Right Cause and Yabloko will meet in the first debates on TV Center at 8.55 p.m. Moscow time on November 16.

This time schedule was made up after a free air time drawing, which was held at the Russian Central Election Commission on October 31. Under the election law, each from seven parties, which are running in the elections, was granted one hour of free air time on four federal television channels and four radio stations. A half of this free air time is granted for debates. Another half of free air time is given for the speeches of party members and promos. But live debates will be the most exciting part of campaigning.

The canvassing materials will be also published in 13 printed media outlets, which provided the free printed space for the parties. Meanwhile, the only magazine, which provided the free printed space, is the Echo of the Planet magazine, which the ITAR-TASS news agency established.

Aside from this, each racer in the elections can campaign for money. “Some 31 television channels, 137 newspapers and magazines and 26 internet media, said they are ready to provide the free air time and printed space to the parties on the commercial basis,” CEC member Maya Grishina said. She explained that in this case it is not only federal media. Regional mass media may join the charged election campaign.

Maya Grishina, who is charge of canvassing in the CEC, recalled that quite important legislative amendments will come into effect starting from these elections. Under the amendments the parties, which will gain less than three percent at the elections will not be granted a free air time and printed space at a next parliamentary campaign five years later. In other words, they will be deprived of an important advantage and can be canvassing only on the paid basis.

The canvassing period in the media will last till midnight (local time) on December 3. After this hour “the day of silence” will come into effect.

The elections in the sixth State Duma will be held on December 4.

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