National Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine begins negotiations on the debates of Volodymyr Zelensky and Petro Poroshenko, winners of the first round of Ukraine's election, as Zurab Alasania, the Chairman of the Board of the company, reported on Facebook.
Alasania noted that the company was ready to carry out the debates.
“We have the consent of both of the candidates, there is only Central Election Commission left which has to agree on it by law – pay from the state budget. We begin negotiations with all the parties,” he noted.
The coordinator of OPORA social network Olga Ayvazovska wrote on her Facebook page that the law gives the candidates a right to carry out awareness-raising measures, including the debates for the means of the electoral fund.
“Everyone has a right to be on air, debate, argue and prove his own position, but if it is about a stadium, the expenses for it should be the responsibility of those candidates. The law obliges a successor of the National Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine to hold the debates on April 19 for the means of the taxpayers, but other TV channels can broadcast it for free,” Ayvazovska wrote.
Besides she noted that the broadcaster will decide on the format of the debates, and not the candidates.
“An independent media establishes the rules, but not the headquarters of the candidates and their technologies. I would also recommend the hosts to refrain from any political statements.
As it was reported earlier, Poroshenko invited Zelensky to the debates on the elections day.
On April 3, Zelensky replied to the invitation and put forward his conditions. He wanted to hold debates at Olimpiyskiy stadium. Poroshenko’s team said, “the President does not perform at stadiums.”
Later, Poroshenko agreed to participate in the debates at Olimpiyskiy 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."