The United States of America’s Commission on Presidential Debates(CPD) has announced that only the candidates from the two major parties will be allowed to participate in the first debate taking place on September 26 at Hofstra University in the northeastern town of Hempstead, New York.
The Commission said Republican candidate Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton reached the required threshold of support by averaging at least 15 percent in five public opinion polls selected last month by the commission.
Clinton averaged 43 percent and Trump averaged 40.4 percent in the polls, they commission said.
Libertarian party candidate Gary Johnson (8.4 percent) and Green party candidate Jill Stein (3.2 percent) did not meet the support qualifications and therefore won’t be invited to the debate.
Meanwhile third party candidates are unhappy about this development, in a statement, the Libertarian party candidate Gary Johnson said
“I would say I am surprised that the CPD has chosen to exclude me from the first debate, but I’m not, the commission was an invention of the two major parties, created to exclude third parties from televised debates.
Also, the Green Party announced it would hold an event outside Hofstra University the evening of the presidential debate, to ask her supporters to participate in a protest to escort her candidate Jill Stein into the debate.
The criteria for the 2016 debates as announced by CPD last year in late October includes:
• Be constitutionally eligible;
• Appear on enough state ballots to have a chance of winning a majority vote in the Electoral College; and
• Have at least 15 percent of the national electorate as determined by five selected public opinion polls.
The CPD said the same measures will also determine which candidates are invited to the next presidential debates, scheduled for October 9 in St. Louis and October 19 in Las Vegas respectively.