News / Africa

Ghana Presidential Candidates Engage in Final Debate Wednesday

Dr. Michael Ofori-Mensah, IEA’s policy analystDr. Michael Ofori-Mensah, IEA’s policy analyst
x
Dr. Michael Ofori-Mensah, IEA’s policy analyst
Dr. Michael Ofori-Mensah, IEA’s policy analyst
Peter Clottey
Ghana’s presidential candidates are preparing for the second and final debate of the general election ahead of next month’s vote.

The event, delayed by 24 hours following the death of former Vice President Aliyu Mahama, will be held in Accra from 6:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. local time.

The debate organizer, the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), says the debate gives prospective voters the opportunity to evaluate the policy proposals of the candidates to enable them choose the next president.

“What we do is to create a platform for the presidential candidates to outline their policy programs for government. This helps to shift the election campaign process from one of personality, attacks and acrimony to an issue-based campaign process,” said Michael Ofori-Mensah, IEA’s policy analyst.

The debates, he said, have generated lots of public interest in the run up to December’s presidential, legislative and local elections. 

“I can assure you that the issues that came up in the first presidential debate, as well as the vice presidential debate, provoked intense interest in the policy details, and in fact the issues were discussed for over a week in the media,” said Ofori-Mensah. “This is to inform voters about the [candidates] policy proposals. And this is very good for Ghana, and it’s going to enhance and strengthen the pillars of our young democracy.”

The debate on Wednesday will be the second for the candidates this year. The only vice presidential debate was held two weeks ago.

President John Dramani Mahama, of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), faces a stiff challenge from main opposition leader Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Michael Abu Sakara Foster, of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), Papa Kwesi Nduom of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), and Hassan Ayariga of the People’s National Convention (PNC).

“This time around, what we have been doing is to also [translate the debate] into local languages, [with] key parts of the presidential debate summarized and broadcast on the local radio stations in different languages to sensitize the voters,” said Ofori-Mensah.

A decision by IEA to limit debate participation to parties with representation in parliament has sparked supporters of some parties to accuse the group of discrimination.

The criteria, the critics say fails to level the political playing field. They say it prevents voters from hearing from all the candidates cleared by the electoral commission to participate in the December vote.

But, Ofori-Mensah said opinions are divided about the IEA’s criteria.

“You will be surprised to know that at the same time that people are arguing for us to expand the net into including all candidates, we have also had people writing to us and telling us that we should just focus on the two big parties. Because those are the only candidates who could actually have a chance of winning the presidency,” said Ofori-Mensah.

Clottey interview with Dr. Michael Ofori-Mensah, IEA polciy analyst
Clottey interview with Dr. Michael Ofori-Mensah, IEA polciy analysti
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Kellys Kaunda from: Lusaka
November 21, 2012 7:40 AM
Ghana has challenged the rest of Africa's aspiring presidents to be ready to face the electorate and specifically explain their policy recommendations with which they will be able to address the problems of their respective countries. We are sick and tired of voting for people whose knowledge of our challenges are so scanty, it's as good as employing someone without an interview!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid