Senatorial candidates in the Buenos Aires province are alreay in a dispute over the location of the debate that is scheduled to take place on October 11. Although several candidates have already agreed on the conditions of the debate, the front-runners – Cristina Kirchner and Esteban Bullrich – currently disagree about where it’s supposed to take place.
According to ámbito, the controversy began after Cristina Kirchner proposed that the debate take place in a public university in the province and a professor from its faculty moderates. “This debate should be organized in the universities. I do not believe that private businesses should be in charge organizing public debates,” Kirchner said.
Clarín reported that Esteban Bullrich rejected Cristina Kirchner’s proposal to host the debate in a public university. Bullrich stated that the parties had already signed an agreement to debate in a television studio. “The truth is that the rules are clear and we want the debate done in a television studio because we want the debate to be seen,” Bullrich said. Today, however, Cristina Kirchner seemed to want to celebrate the first day of spring.
Nevertheless, Kirchner has continued to challenge Bullrich. “The university is not only the best location available, it is also the space that includes the public that will decide this debate,” Kirchner said. “The debate does not have to be a fight between politicians. We need to debate what the people voted for in the PASO elections. And the people voted against austerity and against the current economic agenda,” Kirchner said.
If the candidates can reach an agreement, the debate next month will center around corruption, drug trafficking, security, economic development and education. TV host Marcelo Bonelli will moderate the debate under the supervision of a specialist from the University of Buenos Aires. The debate will run 90 minutes and be divided in five parts, one for the introduction, three for debating the issues mentioned before and a final closing section.
Other candidates were not impressed with the dispute over logistics. “We need to stop [messing around] and debate face to face in front of society, regardless of the place. Let’s not make this a thing of life or death,” said Florencio Randazzo, the ex-Minister of the Interior and Transportation. He also seemed to suggest that the top candidates do not want to debate and are making excuses to avoid it.