The dates for the 2019 presidential election debates have been announced, Premium Times reports.
The Nigerian Election Debate Group (NEDG) and the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) announced that the vice-presidential debate will hold on December 14, 2018, while presidential debate would hold on January 19, 2019. Both events will hold at theTranscorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.
Among the themes to be discussed by the candidates during the debates are the economy, electricity supply, job creation, health, and security. In the coming weeks, the organisers will release the guidelines to guide the conduct of the debators as well members of the audience.
At least 25 parties have announced their presidential candidates for next year’s elections. At the moment, it is not clear what the criteria will be used for participation in the debates. In the US, for instance, where a candidate must attain a certain share of coverage across news media within a given period to be qualified to debate. Nigeria’s major parties remain the APC and PDP but various other parties like SDP, ACPN, YPP and ANN have popular candidates whose supporters may want to hear argue their cases on live television.
Towards the last presidential election, Muhammadu Buhari did not participate in the debate. It will be interesting to see if he decides to do so this time, though he could still decline as no law mandates candidates to debate before elections. With the tradition of debates still in its infancy in the Nigerian electoral environment, it is not yet clear what impacts they have on elections.
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