For the first time tonight (Oct. 1), Puerto Ricans who live on the mainland will be able to watch a gubernatorial debate live, as WAPA-TV will deliver the event live via WAPA America, which reaches roughly 2.5 million U.S. homes.
The debate, which features incumbent Gov. Aníbal Acevedo and rivals Luis Fortuño, Edwin Irizarry and Rogelio Figueroa, is set for 8 p.m. Acevedo, who has been indicted on several counts of campaign-finance corruption by a U.S. grand jury in San Juan, will most likely have to face questions surrounding the issue of corruption, the island’s political and economic state and the environment.
WAPA-TV news director Enrique Cruz will moderate the two-hour debate, which will be followed by post-debate show offering analysis from local political experts. From 7 to 8 p.m. (ET), WAPA America will offer a special show with reporting from each of the party committees and political commentary.
“This is an exciting election year for the more than 4 million Puerto Ricans living in the United States,” said WAPA-TV president Joe Ramos. “For the first time ever, U.S. based Puerto Ricans can watch the candidates discuss the important issues that affect the country face to face and without interruptions, at the same time as their fellow Puerto Ricans living in the U.S.”
Also for the first time, the public can submit questions for the candidate via e-mail, which WAPA news staffers will assess for presentation to the candidates.
WAPA-TV will also stream the debate over its Web site, according to a spokesperson, but it will only be available in Puerto Rico.