Putin again refused to participate in pre-election debates

He is said to have a “busy schedule”.

The head of the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin, who is running for a fifth term in the presidential elections in March, has again refused to participate in pre-election debates in the electronic media.

Radio Sloboda (RFE/RL) reported about it on Tuesday. She added that Putin has never participated in debates with opposing candidates.

The president’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, justified Putin’s non-participation in the debates with a “packed schedule” that “fundamentally differs” the president from the other candidates.

Peskov also argued that “practically anyone (person) can follow Putin’s statements on all aspects of life” of Russian citizens on a daily basis.

He described the format as “an eyeless affair”

RFE/RL added that Putin never went to pre-election debates, under various pretexts. On various occasions, he described the format as “an eyeless affair”, uninteresting and useless.

Peskov, on the other hand, claimed that Putin would need to have free time for such debates and a suitable competitor, which “has not yet appeared”.

Putin’s campaign staff has already informed the Central Election Commission (CEC) that the incumbent president has refused free television and radio airtime designated specifically for debates.

Secretary of the Central Committee Nataľja Budarinová confirmed this on Tuesday and added that every candidate has the right to refuse to participate in radio or television debates with their opponents.

The other candidates for the presidency – Vladislav Davankov (New People), Leonid Slutsky (LDPR) and Nikolay Kharitonov (KPRF) – will participate in debates that will be broadcast on federal media.

The first debate in the television studio will take place on February 26 on the Rossiya-1 channel. Further discussions will be included in the program on February 27 and 28, as well as on March 4 and 5.

The TV channel Rossiya 24 will hold six debates: on February 27, 28, 29 and March 5, 6, 7, with a duration of 45 minutes.

Rádio Rossija, Vesti FM and Majak will host four joint events during the election campaign: February 27, 28 and March 5, 6. The debates will last an hour.

Presidential elections in Russia will be held for the first time over three days – from March 15 to 17, 2024. Voting will also take place abroad, as well as in the Russian-occupied territories of Ukraine.

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