News World US Second US presidential debate cancelled over format clash

Second US presidential debate cancelled over format clash

The campaigns of President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden announced "alternate plans". Photos: AP/Reuters
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The second US presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden has been scrapped.

The Commission on Presidential Debates confirmed on Friday that the October 15 face-off has been cancelled.

The decision was made a day after the commission announced the debate would take place “virtually” because Mr Trump had contracted the coronavirus.

Mr Trump baulked at holding the debate in that format, and Mr Biden scheduled a town hall with ABC News for that night once Mr Trump said he would not participate.

Mr Trump’s team later countered with a call to hold the debates as scheduled once the US President’s doctor said he would be cleared to hold public events beginning on Saturday.

But the commission said it would not reverse its decision not to have the candidates on stage together, citing an abundance of caution with health concerns – particularly for the town-hall-style debate that was set to feature questions from average voters.

“It is now apparent there will be no debate on October 15, and the CPD will turn its attention to preparations for the final presidential debate scheduled for October 22,” the commission said in an emailed statement.

The third debate, scheduled for October 22 in Nashville Tennessee, is still scheduled to go ahead.

-with agencies