Egypt's State TV cancels indirect presidential debate
State TV has canceled an indirect debate that was scheduled to take place between the presidential candidates because both of them declined to participate, a state TV official said.
Amr al-Shennawy, the director of state TV’s news anchors department, said the candidates did not clarify the reasons behind their decisions to not participate.
State TV was supposed to interview candidate and former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq on Tuesday, followed by Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsy on Wednesday, Shennawy said.
The interviews were supposed to air directly after the 9 pm newscast and would have taken place at the state TV building in a studio that was already set up for them.
Some speculate that the televised debate — touted as the first in the region’s history — between former presidential candidates Abdel Moneim Abouel Fotouh and Amr Moussa turned viewers away from both of them.
Abouel Fotouh, a former Brotherhood member, and Moussa, a former Arab League chief, had been seen as the front-runners in the first round of the presidential election, which took place last May.
Shennawy said he was supposed to host Shafiq along with his colleague Atef Kamel, while Morsy was going to be interviewed by Ahmed Boseila and Sherif Fouad.
He said state TV and the news section would resume their electoral coverage.
The runoff election is set to take place Saturday and Sunday.
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