Vladimir Putin will not take part in Russian presidential election debates because of his duties as prime minister, his spokesman has announced.
Mr Putin's spokesman said the prime minister would use the airtime allocated to him under electoral laws to convey his electoral programme to voters.
Furthermore, Mr Putin could nominate representatives to take part in debates for him, Mr Peskov
Mr Zyuganov, who has fought and lost presidential elections since the Yeltsin era and came a distant second against Dmitry Medvedev in 2008, said he wished to debate issues such as the economy, manufacturing, agriculture, science and education.
"Not only must [Vladimir Putin] go on leave, but also officially agree to take part in open political debates," he said in remarks broadcast on Russian news channel Rossiya 24.
One of Mr Zyuganov's MPs, Sergei Obukhov, accused Mr Putin of hogging TV coverage.
"In the last 20 days, Putin dominated the television screens 70 to 100%," he said.Mr Putin's official duties as prime minister this week included chairing a meeting of Russian angling societies
in Moscow on Wednesday.
In his manifesto, Mr Putin talks of "re-thinking the whole system of public security" and "needing to stop the extremely repressive tendency" of Russia's law enforcement agencies.
"This situation is deforming our society and is making it morally unhealthy," writes Mr Putin, a former secret police chief.
"The actions of the security forces should be aimed at protecting and supporting legal business - not fighting it."Link