Iran bans live election debates

Thursday 20 April 2017 6 days ago 38   Tehran   Print

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Report  Web desk : TEHRAN: Iranian interior ministry said Thursday there would be no live debates in the run-up to next month presidential election. Based on a decision by the Election Campaign Monitoring Commission, the election debates of the candidates will be broadcast pre-recorded, said ministry spokesman Seyed Salman Samani. The commission also released guidelines for the debates, telling candidates they are not allowed to "blacken the image of the country or the actions of the executive, administrative, legislative or judicial bodies. Live debates have been a hugely popular feature of the last two elections in 2009 and 2013, with many analysts saying President Hassan Rouhani performance was key to his surprise victory last time. The decision was criticized by one conservative candidate, Alireza Zakani, who said it would seriously damage transparency. (01)