President Kufuor shuns Presidential Debate

Tue, 16 Nov 2004 Source: GHP

Three candidates contesting the elections in December have spelt out their policies on a broad range of subjects at a ?presidential debate? in Accra.

The event, organized by the Institute of Economic Affairs, was not actually a debate as the candidates did not engage each other in any way. Instead, they fielded questions from radio presenter, Komla Dumor, who served as the moderator. The candidates, Prof. John Atta Mills of the NDC, Dr. Edward Mahama of the PNC and George Aggudey of the CPP answered questions on subjects such as the economy, health care delivery, education, corruption and national reconciliation.

President Kufuor did not take part in the debate. According to his spokesman, Kwabena Agyapong, the organizers failed to seek audience with the incumbent ?to discuss or request his presence or get his concurrence to appear?.

The absence of the President took some shine off the programme. However all three candidates who participated gave a good account of themselves, with George Aggudey controversially stating that he will review the decision by the current government to repeal the criminal libel law. Dr. Edward Mahama promised to pursue policies that will improve the lot of the poor. Prof. Atta Mills also pledged to pursue pragmatic policies that will ensure prosperity and social justice.

It remains to be seen whether the ?debate? will have any impact on how people vote. Analysts believe that most Ghanaians have already made up their minds and such programmes cannot sway voters in any significant way.

Cross section of audience
Komla Dumor, Moderator
Prof. John Evans Atta Mills, NDC Candidate
Dr. Edward Mahama, PNC Candidate
George Aggudey, CPP candidate

Source: GHP