The mayor refuses to participate in debate of candidates in mayors of Moscow :: Policy :: RBC

Sergei Sobyanin will not participate in electoral debates with their rivals, said the source RBC. Participation in the debate is not in the tradition of the Russian authorities and would not give the mayor additional votes, experts explain

Sergei Sobyanin

(Photo: Vladislav Shatilo / RBC)

Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin has decided not to participate in election debates, told RBC two sources close to city hall.

“He’s not going to debate because his opponents are put forward not for the sake of winning the election, and handle other tasks — to maintain the rating of the party, to convey their ideas and so on,” explained one of the sources.

The head of the electoral headquarters of the mayor Konstantin Remchukov was unavailable for comment. Press Secretary sobyanina Gulnara Penkova has not answered the questions from the RBC.

How are the debates

Elections of the mayor of Moscow will pass in the uniform voting day on 9 September. According to the electoral code of Moscow, “joint campaigning events” (debate) the candidates can participate only personally. City state TV and radio stations are required to provide them with free air time in Prime time (“the period when the programs collect the greatest audience”), at the same time Prime-time define yourself, the media. Candidates are granted at least 30 minutes on weekdays on each of the channels, at least half of free time is allotted for debate. If the candidate refuses to participate in debates, his time is divided between competitors. The drawing is carried out after the official registration of candidates but not later than 33 days before the voting.

In the last elections of the mayor of Moscow in 2013, debates were held on TV channels “Moscow 24” and “Moscow. Trust” and on the radio “Says Moscow” and “Moscow FM”. All these media are included into holding “Moscow media”, which is owned by the Metropolitan government. During the broadcasts, the candidates discussed transportation, housing, migration and social problems. The mayor then refused to participate in the debate, explaining that he is not going to “roll out” its competitors, whose reputation is much lower than his.

In the debate in 2013 was attended by Communist Ivan Melnikov, Mikhail Degtyarev from LDPR, the candidate from “Fair Russia” Nikolay Levichev, head of “Yabloko” Sergei Mitrokhin and Alexei Navalny. While Navalny refused to participate in debates on radio and “Trust”, considering their audience is too small. According to the polls, the debates on the channel “Moscow-24” saw 17% of Muscovites, from beginning to end is the most popular round of debates looked 0,5% of the capital.

The expected solution

Press Secretary of the candidate from the Communist party Vadim Cumin Anastasia Udaltsova told RBC that he will participate in the debate. “Authorities at all levels have forgotten how to talk with opponents, all the information about the situation in the region comes from officials and paid from the budget of the media. They don’t know than the lives of the region” — said Udaltsov RBC, commenting on the failure of mayor to participate in the debate.

Ilya Sviridov

(Photo: Eugene biyatov / RIA Novosti)

The candidate from “Fair Russia” Ilya Sviridov also plans to participate in the debate, he said RBC. The lack of participation Sobyanin believes spravoross “expected”. “Everything is going according to the scenario of the presidential elections, when the main candidate is not involved in discussing its programme with the opponents”, — said Sviridov.

The mayoral candidate from LDPR, the Deputy of the state Duma Mikhail Degtyarev told RBC that will participate in the debate because it is important the dialogue with voters. “Assessment of the decisions of the other candidates will give Muscovites”, — said Degtyarev the issue of participation Sobyanin in the debate.

Another candidate, ex-owner of the construction company su-155 and Duma Deputy Mikhail Balakin was unavailable for comment.

The Moscow city election Commission should approve the July 13 final list of registered candidates.

The example of Putin and Luzhkov

Sobyanin makes no sense to participate in the debate, his opponents are quite weak, so the discussion with them that would strengthen their ratings, not the current mayor, believes the Deputy head of the political conjuncture Oleg Ignatov. The interest of Muscovites to the debate will be low, said the analyst, the campaign will be conducted in a quiet mode, the result is clear, serious contenders Sobyanin not.

“The debate is not in the tradition of the Russian authorities, they did not participate neither Luzhkov, nor Yeltsin. The rating Sobyanin high, so to make the campaign new formats that will bring nothing from the electoral point of view, it makes no sense”, — said Ignatov.

Governors often ignore pre-election debate, preferring to give free airtime to opponents. Completely ignore the debates and the candidates in the presidential elections. They never participated Vladimir Putin (campaign 2000, 2004, 2012, 2018) and Dmitry Medvedev (2008). In 2004, Putin explained the reason for the rejection of public debate: “Debate is a game or a giveaway, or game when players know the outcome. It would be possible to adopt various tricks, including in addition to debate to dance and sing, but our people feel the heart, where the truth lies.”

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