MOSCOW, August 9. /TASS/. Self-nominated Moscow mayoral candidate Sergei Sobyanin has decided to hold off from participation in the election debate. The candidate is ready to give this time to his opponents, campaign manager Konstantin Remchukov told reporters on Thursday.
"My analysis and the analysis made by the headquarters members showed that, considering Sobyanin’s current practice and occupation - five to six daily meetings with staff and his rather active presence in the information space - we decided not to take part in the debate, because four channels give 37.5 minutes for all candidates, that is 7.5 minutes for each of them, which means Sobyanin would have 30 minutes on these channels. We decided to give these 30 minutes to the other mayoral candidates, because they are less known to the Moscow residents and, quite possibly, these 30 minutes will enable them to tell more about themselves and their alternative views on how the city should develop," he said.
Remchukov added that the last presidential election debate was like a "popcorn show, in which there were fewer substantial issues and discussions, while the debate time was used for quite different purposes."
According to earlier reports, Chairman of the State Duma Committee for Physical Culture, Tourism and Youth Affairs Mikhail Degtyaryov (LDPR), former member of the Moscow City Duma and State Duma Vadim Kumin (KPRF) and head of the Tagansky Municipal District Ilya Sviridov (A Just Russia), who all are running for Moscow mayorship, declared their intention to participate in the debate. Incumbent Moscow City Duma member Mikhail Balakin also intends to participate in the election debate, the candidate’s press service told TASS.
The election debate of the Moscow mayoral candidates will be broadcasted by four TV and radio channels - Moskva Doveriye, Moskva 24, Radio Moskvy and Moskva FM - from August 14 to September 6. Each campaign event will last 37.5 minutes.
The Moscow mayoral election will be held on September 9, on the single voting day.