Saturday, December 9, 2006

UMP prepares for first debate

The ruling UMP is preparing for its first debate/forum in Paris today, featuring Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy and Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie. It will begin at 5:00 pm local time and last for two hours, taking place in front of a live audience of 1500 people. The moderator will be former Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin, though questions will be asked by several young party members and chosen from those sent in online from supporters. The two candidates will be seated on opposing sides of a horseshoe table. It remains possible that current Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin will join Sarkozy and Alliot-Marie in the next forum in a week, although it is now almost official policy that Sarkozy will be the chosen presidential nominee.

It is good to know that (supposedly) the candidates will be asked new questions that they hadn't been briefed on before. One of the loudest criticisms of the Kerry-Bush debates was that every question had been pre-screened, and since there was no interaction allowed between the candidates, it ended up being a buch of scripted answers instead of a real discussion. That still did not stop Kerry from handily winning the first debate, although that is another story entirely.

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