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

Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

While not yet independently confirmed, brutal killing already has gotten attention of Islamic State followers on social media More

After Six Years, Little Change for Niger Delta's Former Militants

Nigerians who laid down arms in exchange for government amnesty subsidies fear program may end with upcoming presidential elections More

Vietnam Pushes for More Educated Drivers to Curb Road Deaths

Transportation officials hope that making a greater effort to get drivers to learn the rules of the road will reduce fatal crashes 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.
NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planeti
X
George Putic
March 04, 2015 8:51 PM
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More