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    MOSCOW, February 19, 2004. /RIA Novosti correspondent/ - In compliance with the Russian election legislation presidential candidate Ivan Rybkin may not participate in TV debates via a teleconference from London, member of the Russian Central Election Commission Nina Kulyasova told RIA Novosti.

    According to her, the Commission "does not see any reason to meet the request of Ivan Rybkin's campaign agent to allow the candidate to participate in the debates in this way".

    "There are no legal reasons for a presidential candidate to participate in TV debates not being personally present without a sufficient excuse, such as illness of fulfillment of duty," the Commission's member explained.

    The form of participation in the debates proposed by Rybkin "contradicts the legislation and violates the principle of presidential candidates' equality when taking part in TV debates," she believes.

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