Presidential Election Debates to Be Live

Presidential Election Debates to Be LivePresidential Election Debates to Be Live

The Interior Ministry said debates among the six qualified candidates for the May 19 presidential vote would be televised live, reversing an earlier decision to broadcast the recorded version.

“With the approval of the Campaigns Commission for the Presidential Election, debates among candidates will be broadcast live by the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting,” Salman Samani, the spokesman for the ministry, told reporters after a commission meeting on Saturday night, IRNA reported.

The commission is part of the ministry’s Election Headquarters that is in charge of organizing Iranian elections.

Last Thursday, his announcement after the previous meeting of the commission that there would be no live debates in the runup to the presidential vote triggered criticism from the electorate and candidates, notably incumbent Hassan Rouhani.

“I don’t want to interfere ... but I would like the Election Headquarters to review this decision,” he said.

Samani said the Thursday decision was made out of “genuine concerns”, but demands of the nations and candidates prompted them to search for ways to address their considerations.

Debates in the previous presidential votes were broadcast live.

Samani said a new set of guidelines for the debates would be later issued by the commission.

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