National TV Company is ready for the holding of the official debates with the one-hour duration between the candidates for the presidency in Ukraine, who entered the second tour. The debates should take place on April 19, at 8:00 p.m. as 112 Ukraine reported citing Zurab Alasania, the Chairman of the Board of the National TV Company.
“The National TV Company is ready for holding such debates, despite the things, which take place around; we see this activity in our circles and political circles. And I am very happy that the Central Election Commission took up its position: from the very beginning it strongly and clearly stated, where and how the debates should be held,” Alasania noted.
He also added that the candidates can hold the additional debates if they want to.
Chairman of the Central Election Commission Tatiana Slipachuk added that the candidates can meet anywhere they want after the official debates but for their own funds.
“All other things on which the candidates can agree, for example, the talk-show format, in the form of the debates in any other place: let’s refer to Article 58 of the law, which regulates holding of the election campaign; it also provides the candidates with the possibility to make a joint event, talk-show or debates as they wish, if they agree,” Slipachuk noted.
On April 3, Zelensky replied to Poroshenko's invitation to participate in debates and put forward his conditions. He wanted to hold debates at Olympic Stadium. Poroshenko’s team said, “the President does not perform at stadiums”. A few hours later Poroshenko changed his mind and agreed to participate in the debates.
On April 7, Poroshenko stated that he waits for Volodymyr Zelensky on April 14 at Olympic Stadium.
In his turn, Zelensky reported that he wants to hold the debates with Poroshenko on April 19 at Olympic Stadium.
Let us recall that during the presidential campaign in 2014, Poroshenko himself refused from participating in the debates with another presidential aspirant Yuliya Tymoshenko, his key competitor. Poroshenko explained his unwillingness by the fact that Ukraine "is in a state of war. All people emphasize that the country needs unity. If we start quarreling now, our rivals would benefit from it."