United Russia primaries candidates must take part in debates – Medvedev

File Photo of Dmitry Medvedev with United Russia Logos Behind Him

MOSCOW. Oct 15 (Interfax) – All United Russia primaries candidates must take part in election debates, and it is wrong not to do so, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said at a joint meeting of the party’s supreme and general councils on Thursday.

“The candidates must participate in the debates, maintain a position of their own and be able to defend it. The refusal to participate in primaries debates is a very big mistake that leads to defeat,” he said.

Medvedev asked party members to take the primaries seriously. “This is also an election, but a preliminary one,” he said.

“I would like to emphasize there will be no agreed upon lists in regions. Neglecting the confidence of voters by putting on party lists totally unelectable but handy people rather than candidates enjoying respect and support is not just bad, this is also leads to defeat,” said Medvedev, who is also the United Russia chairman.

He recalled earlier attempts to rewrite primary outcomes. “This is wrong, and the party has expressed its opinion,” he said.

The party must be prepared for the ‘black PR’ targeted against it, Medvedev said. “There will be free access to the primaries debate floors, but this does not mean we will allow violation of ethical norms, moreover norms of law,” he said.

[featured image is file photo]