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Politicos Favor Debates on State TV to Clear Up Poll Aftermath

Repot source: Mehr News Agency, Tehran

The national TV has embarked on broadcasting a new series of political debates to elaborate on the events that have followed the June presidential election. The debates have attracted a lot of attention from the public and many politicians and analysts have commented on them. 

People watching pre-election debates in June 2009
Is State TV opening up?  The State TV has been accused by the opposition of being a mouthpiece of the establishment and shutting out opposing views.  The pre-election debates, which attracted a wide audience, was a rare case where the opposition candidates were able to present their views. However, unlike Ahmadinejad, the other  candidates weren't given time air time outside of the debates.



In the debates aired so far, some moderate principalists such as MP Ali Motahari, former MP Mohammad Khoshchehreh, and veteran journalist Abbas Salimi-Namin have appeared in the programs.


Televised debates will improve mutual understanding


Ahmad Tavakoli, a senior principalist lawmaker, has pointed out that "televised debates between figures who hold opposing political views will contribute to... mutual understanding."


Tavakoli, the head of Majlis Research Center, said the more transparent the guests express their viewpoints in the debates, the public will get a better picture of the issues.


A debate means that people with differing views discuss an issue, otherwise if people with the same line of thinking attend a debate, that debate will be meaningless, he added.


Key figures from two political opponents must be involved in debates


Amir Mohebbian, a political analyst, has insisted on the need to invite famous political figures affiliated with the country's two major political rivals (reformists and principalists) to the debates.


He has also called on the anchor of the program to be impartial.


Mohebbian, the managing director of the Arya News Agency, went on to say that the media outlets should try to win the public approval by pitting differing viewpoints against each other to assure the audience of two things: First, that a particular media is not biased in favor of a certain political group, and second, that media allow the audience to make their own judgment.


The biggest weakness of some media outlets in the country is that they try to instill their biased stance into the mind of the audience, he opined. 


Doubtful issues should be brought up in the debates


Hamidreza Taraghi, a member of the conservative Islamic Coalition Party, has said that the political experts who attend the debates should hold discussions over the issues that people are doubtful about.


On the time for broadcasting the debates to have more viewers, he said he believes that the national TV has chosen the right time to put these debates on the air.


"The turbulent and cloudy atmosphere" that prevailed in the country after the presidential election the country was robbed of the opportunity deal with such controversial issues, the former conservative lawmaker opined, adding now that the calm has relatively returned to the society, it is desirable to arrange such programs.


Debates should have been started after the election


Zohreh Elahian, a member of the parliament from Tehran, has opined that the televised debates should have been arranged after the election with the aim of enlightening the public opinion and informing the people about the incidents behind the scenes.


"However, if the debates go on in way that raise doubt and ambiguity among the people, no one approves of them," she added. 

... Payvand News - 01/12/10 ... --

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