Mexico gears up for first televised presidential debate

May 7th, 2012 - 12:17 pm ICT by IANS  

Mexico City, May 7 (IANS/EFE) Mexico’s four presidential candidates will take part Sunday in their first televised debate amid high expectations and a controversy over the air time, which conflicts with a soccer match.

This is the first opportunity that the four candidates - Enrique Pena Nieto, of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, Josefina Vazquez Mota, of the National Action Party, or PAN, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, of the Party of the Democratic Revolution, or PRD, and Gabriel Quadri, of the New Alliance Party, or PANAL - will be able to face off since the campaign officially started March 30.

The debate will be the first one organized by the Federal Electoral Institute, or IFE, which is in charge of regulating the July 1 presidential election.

A poll conducted by GEA-ISA and published Sunday by the Milenio newspaper shows Pena Nieto drawing the support of 47 percent of likely voters, while Vazquez Mota is garnering 27 percent support.

Lopez Obrador has the support of 24 percent of likely voters and Quadri is drawing just 1.4 percent support.

The debate, which will take place at Mexico City’s World Trade Center, will be carried live by several national networks.

The debate will be broadcast by three television networks, four pay channels, 11 national radio networks and 32 state radio networks.

About 500 Mexican and international reporters are expected to cover the event.

A 15-person production team will operate the 10 television cameras set up on the stage to cover the two-hour debate.


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