New format for final debate between Tsipras and Meimarakis

New format for final debate between Tsipras and Meimarakis

SYRIZA’s Alexis Tsipras and New Democracy’s Evangelos Meimarakis are preparing for a second and final televised debate on Monday night as opinion polls continue to show their two parties neck-and-neck going into the last week of the campaign.

In contrast with first debate last week, which involved seven party leaders, Monday night’s discussion will be just between Tsipras and Meimarakis. Representatives of the two parties have also agreed to relax the rules for the debate after criticism that last week’s event followed too rigid a format.

The debate will have four rounds. During the first round, the two leaders will be questioned by six journalists but will have the ability to respond to the answers they each give.

In the second round the leaders will be able to fire questions at each other. In the third round the moderator, Panos Haritos of public broadcaster ERT, will have the right to ask two questions to each leader. In the final round, each leader will have a chance to deliver a two-minute message to viewers.

A new addition to the debate is that the leaders will have the opportunity in the first and third rounds to issue a red card to their rival if they want to challenge something he said in his reply.

The debate is due to begin at 9 p.m.

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