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

At International AIDS Conference One Goal, Many Paths

The 12,000 delegates attending 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne have vastly different visions about how to eradicate disease More

Disasters May Doom Malaysia’s Flag Carrier

Even before loss of two jets loaded with passengers on international flights, company had been operating in red for three years, accumulating deficit of $1.3 billion More

Afghan Presidential Vote Audit Continues Despite Glitches

Process has been marred by walkouts by representatives of two competing candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani 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.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid