A local blogger finds the incident not all that bad" />

South-Ossetia presidential debates fail due to seating arrangement quarrels

A local blogger finds the incident not all that bad

Televised election debates in South Ossetia ended before they had even gotten off the ground on Wednesday, after the presidential competitors had fallen out with one another over who got to sit where in the small studio of Ir, the republic’s main television and radio company.

South Ossetia is electing a new president on 9 April. Three candidates are vying for the post: the current president Leonid Tibilov, current parliament speaker Anatoly Bibilov and KGB officer Alan Gagloyev.

The debates failed because “one of the candidates, Anatoly Bibilov, disagreed with how the management of the television and radio company Ir had seated the debaters for the broadcast,” reported Res news agency. “Thereafter, another candidate, Alan Gagloyev from the KGB, refused to go sit where Bibilov told him to.”

The three candidates’ election agents were to take part in the debates alongside the candidates themselves.

South-Ossetian blogger Alan Parastayev makes light of what happened. In his blog, the Caucasian Knot, he stated why the incident was not all bad:

• “It’s added some welcome diversity and surprise [to South Ossetia’s pre-election] – who could have thought anything like that would happen! While disruptions in the election itself were quite expected, those of the debates were not.

• Actually, it was no less informative and telling than what the half hour of [the debaters’] self-praise and derogatory comments would have been.

• Each candidate acted as they envision themselves to be [if elected]: Bibilov will show everybody their place [even if it’s in prison]; Gagloyev will simply show off; Tibilov will try to reconcile everybody.

• Perhaps, the television will now, finally, get itself a new studio for debates”.

Ir’s studio has hosted the candidates for election debates before. On the first occasion, all three candidates took part. The next two debates missed Tibilov and Bibilov, respectively.

To see how the televised debates proceeded on 24 March 2017, follow the link:

The opinions expressed in the article convey the author’s terminology and views and do not necessarily reflect the position of the editorial staff


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