Anticipation builds for presidential debate at Gran Museo del Mundo Maya

An exhibit hall at the Gran Museo del Mundo Maya in Mérida is the stage for the final presidential debate. Photo: INE
An exhibit hall at the Gran Museo del Mundo Maya in Mérida is the stage for the final presidential debate. Photo: INE

Mérida, Yucatán — All eyes are on the Gran Museo del Mundo Maya tonight when the final presidential debate takes place.

Around 900 staff and police officers will guard the site while the four sparring candidates answer questions submitted from the public.

A stage, originally said to be in the museum’s auditorium, has been set up in the temporary exhibition hall.

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“We received 11,388 questions and comments, of which 10,626 were through Twitter, 762 through Facebook and the INE shared all this information with two universities with the purpose of analyzing and organizing them,” said Benito Nacif of the National Electoral Institute.

The area of the museum and the Siglo XXI convention center has been cordoned off, and only guests of the political parties and the electoral authorities will be allowed access. Traffic is being re-routed around the entire area all day.

To cover the debate, 500 journalists from national and foreign media were accredited. The same number of guests and representatives sent by political parties is expected.

It is estimated that this last debate will exceed the number of viewers who watched the last two broadcasts. Around 11.4 million people tuned in for the first debate in Mexico City and 12.6 million watched the second, which was staged in Tijuana.

The electoral counselors indicated that the candidates have the freedom to express themselves in accordance with their style, although they call for avoiding confrontations.

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Candidate Ricardo Anaya, of the Por México al Frente coalition, rehearsed his speeches in the museum Monday.

“We are ready for tomorrow’s debate; it’s going to be a great opportunity to show that we have the best proposals, the best project in the country, the best project to achieve the transformation change that the country needs, “said Anaya, who was accompanied by PAN president, Damián Zepeda.

José Antonio Meade, a candidate of the Todos por México coalition, took a 90-minute tour of the museum accompanied by his wife, Juana Cuevas, and the publicist Carlos Alazraki, in charge of his training for the last meeting with his opponents.

Jaime Rodríguez Calderón, an independent candidate, came to the rehearsals accompanied by his daughter Valentina.

Andrés Manuel López Obrador, candidate of the coalition Juntos Haremos Historia, did not go to rehearse his presentation, but rather toured Las Margaritas and Comitán, in Chiapas.

The two-hour debate will be broadcast live, starting at 9 p.m. The INE will also broadcast it on TwitterFacebook and YouTube.

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Built in 2012, the Gran Museo houses more than 1,100 artifacts, including a reclining chac-mool sculpture from Chichén Itzá.

The contemporary building was designed in the form of a ceiba tree, which is sacred to Maya who believe it to connect the earth with the heavens.

Source: El Universal

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