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Pre-election debate slated for Jan. 1 in TA
October 23, 2012 15:40
A live televised debate pitting leaders of major political parties against each other will take place ahead of 2013 election.

Knesset 370. (photo credit:Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

The Citizens' Empowerment Center in Israel (CECI) on Tuesday announced that a live televised debate pitting leaders of major political parties against each other will take place ahead of the upcoming January 22 election.

The debate is slated for January 1 at Tel Aviv University.

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According to the Center, expected attendees include Israel Beyteinu chairman Avigdor Liberman, Labor leader Shelly Yacimovich, Yesh Atid head Yair Lapid, and Kadima chief Shaul Mofaz.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has yet to confirm whether he will attend.

In its invitation to party leaders, CECI wrote that the Israeli public wants its politicians to debate each other, as this is the "best way to reveal the vision of the parties and the candidates, which increases transparency and ensures accountability of elected officials to voters."

The movement said the short and intensive election campaign Israel is holding made it even more crucial that a debate be held, as such would allow candidates to sharpen their views and separate themselves from the pack.

There has not been a debate between all the candidates running for prime minister in Israel since the election between Netanyahu and then-prime minister Shimon Peres in 1996. Since then, the candidate perceived as the front-runner always scuttled plans for a debate.

Gil Hoffman contributed to this report.

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