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October 10, 2012

Kenya to See First Presidential Debates

by VOA News

Kenyan media outlets have organized the country's first-ever live presidential debates, with the first one scheduled to air next month.

Debate organizers say the November 26 debate will be broadcast by eight television stations and 32 radio stations, in addition to being streamed on the Internet.

Further debates are set for January 14 and February 11 of next year.

Media executives addressing reporters Wednesday said the debates will be fair and professionally run.  They said the public will be able to submit questions for presidential candidates and express opinions though social media.

Linus Gitahi, CEO of the Nation Media Group, said the candidates will have the opportunity to outline their policies on important issues such as education, infrastructure and security.

Kenya holds general elections on March 4. 

The country's last elections in 2007 sparked deadly ethnic violence after President Mwai Kibaki and his main challenger, Raila Odinga both claimed victory in the presidential poll.

Kibaki is not running for re-election.  A recent survey showed Odinga holding a narrow lead in a field of 11 declared presidential candidates.