CEC refuses to assess candidates’ behavior at debates

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

MOSCOW. March 1 (Interfax) – The Central Elections Commission (CEC) has no right to assess the behavior of presidential candidates at debates; if need be, they can protect their integrity and reputation in court, CEC head Ella Pamfilova said in a statement obtained by Interfax on Thursday.

“It is not within the Russian CEC’s purview to assess the behavior of a particular Russian presidential candidate in debates,” Pamfilova said.

“The CEC is tasked with ensuring the equal access of all candidates to television and radio airtime and ensuring strict compliance with the free-airtime schedule,” she said.

“Everything that happens in debates concerns the ethics and culture of the candidates. The viewers are the only ones who can assess their conduct. If any debate participant feels insulted, there is a lawful mechanism for defending their integrity and business reputation,” Pamfilova said.