Tuesday, December 5, 2023

US sets calendar for election debates

Three debates have been organized for next year’s US presidential election between September 16 and October 9 in Texas, Virginia, and Utah. What is not known is whether any candidates will join.

The Commission on Presidential Debates announced Monday that the first debate will be on September 16 at the Texas State University campus in San Marcos, south of Austin. The vice presidential debate ends nine days later at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania.

That will be followed by a debate at Virginia State University in Petersburg on October 1, and a third and final debate at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City on October 9, less than a month before Election Day on November 5.

“The US general election debates, watched live around the world, are a model for many other countries: they offer an opportunity to see and hear candidates talk about serious issues in an impartial and neutral context,” they said in a statement from the co-chairs of the debate commission, Frank Fahrenkopf and Antonia Hernández. “This tradition has continued unbroken since 1976. In 2024, the students of the four debate areas will help bring many stories of history to viewers here and abroad. The centers at its university will provide four unique opportunities to listen and learn.

The debate commission was created in 1987 and has sponsored every presidential and vice presidential debate since then. It is a non-political organization and receives no federal funds or funds from any party or campaign.

The announcement comes even as the Republican National Committee is considering changes to its rules that would require its candidates to sign a pledge that they will not participate in any committee-sponsored debates.

Such a boycott would shake up the way the United States has run presidential elections for decades, although former President Donald Trump’s refusal to participate in debates during the Republican primaries may have eased the specter.

However, Trump has made it clear that he wants to debate Biden if he becomes the nominee.

World Nation News Desk
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