Thursday, July 10, 2008

IEA set-up 11-member Presidential Debate Committee

The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA Ghana) on Wednesday set-up an eleven member Presidential Debate Committee (PDC) with a mandate to organise Election 2008 Presidential Debate.

The committee is headed by His Eminence Peter Cardinal Appiah Turkson, Catholic Archbishop of Cape Coast with Odeneho Gyapong Ababio II, President of the National House of Chiefs, Shiekh O. N. Shaributu, National Chief Imam and Maulvi Waham Adams as members,

The other members are Mrs Doris Acheampong, Greater Accra Regional Director of the National Commission of Civic Education; Dr Rose Mensa-Kutin, Convenor of Network for Women's Rights in Ghana; Mrs Jean Mensa, IEA Administrator; Mr Kofi Owusu, Director of Programmes, Joy FM; and Mr Ransford Tetteh, President of the Ghana Journalists Association. The rest are, Mr William Ampem Darko, Director General of Ghana Broadcasting Corporation and Dr Yaw Baah, Director of Research Trades Union Congress.

Outdooring the members, at a media briefing in Accra, Brigadier Francis Agyemfra (Rtd) of the IEA said the debate is fixed for October 15 and November 12 respectively for the Northern and Southern sectors. Tamale would host the Northern Sector debate, while Accra hosts the Southern sector, the IEA said on Tuesday.

He said it formed part of IEA's efforts to deepen and consolidate multiparty democracy and promote issue-based campaigns during the Election 2008 Presidential and Parliamentary process.

He said the Presidential Debates sought to provide a forum for the candidates to come together on a single platform to dialogue and discuss their visions, policies and programmes to enable the electorate to make an informed choice as to who should govern the nation.

"What is not so well-known is what they stand for and how they intend to govern the country if elected to the high office of the Presidency.

"The Presidential Debate will therefore introduce an issue-driven approach and dimension to the electioneering campaign to enable the campaign to move away from one of personalities, acrimony, insults and attacks which have become the norm of African electoral campaigns," he

said. The Election 2008 Presidential Debates would be unique from previous debates facilitated by the IEA, in that, it would be in two parts.

The first part would consist of a questionnaire which had been administered to the flag bearers for their written responses. Questions cut across key policy issues received from various organisations such as the Trades Unions Congress, Ghana Medical Association, Ghana Employers' Association, Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition, Ghana National Traders and Dressmakers Association, Ghana National Association of Teachers, Ghana Registered Nurses Association, Women in Law and Development in Africa, National Union of Ghana Students, National Association of Local Authorities, Ghana Bar Association, and Ghana Federation of the Disabled.

The rest are the Association of Ghana Industries, ActionAid, Private Enterprise Foundation, Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Ghana Hairdressers and Beauticians Association.

The Institute would compile the responses from the flag bearers into a pamphlet and circulate them nationwide. Their responses will also be published in the newspapers.

This, the IEA believed, would further stimulate and provoke debate and discussion of the policy issues raised.

The second part consists of two live debates to be organised in Tamale and Accra at which two moderators would pose questions to the flag bearers.

The debates would be covered live on major radio and television networks throughout the country and on the internet. The debates will also be covered by the international press.

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