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IEA’s Presidential Debate Lacks ‘Substance’…It’s More Of A Political ‘Fanfare’   
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A Deputy Minister of Information has described the presidential debate being organized by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), as a forum which is more of a “form than substance”.

James Agyenim Boateng is of the opinion that the organizers only end up staging a political “show” which gets people talking about the beauty of the programme instead of the knowledge it should have impacted on the electorate.

The IEA, as part of its commitment to strengthening the pillars of the country’s democracy, ensuring free, fair, peaceful and transparent election process, put up this pre-election debate series between the major political parties ahead of the December polls.

The 2012 Election Debate Series consists of three Presidential Debates, four evening encounters with presidential aspirants, and one Vice Presidential Debate.

It has an 11-Member Committee chaired by Reverend Dr Mensa Otabil, General Overseer of International Central Gospel Church.

But the ruling party, on Tuesday, indicated its desire not to participate in the debate.

A statement issued by the Propaganda Secretary of the ruling party, Richard Quashigah, stated inter alia “The NDC government has previously drawn the IEA’s attention to the fact that no sitting president or vice president in the 4th Republic has participated in these debates. It is the party’s position to uphold that convention".

The ruling party maintained it is not shying away from a potential showdown or debate with any of the other political parties, but simply because, it is of the firm belief that the IEA platform is not wide enough for them to send their message across.

Speaking on Peace FM’s “Kokrokoo Morning Show, James Agyenim Boateng pointed out that to him, the whole concept of the presidential debate was more akin to a “fanfare” since words that usually fell out of the lips of the general public were about “how the event went on well and the beauty of it”.

James Agyenim-Boateng, Deputy Information Minister
Whiles describing the event organizers as suffering needlessly from “reputational crisis”, he added that he has also struggled as an individual to get the substance out of the event.

“All you hear is; take a look at how the various political leaders have gathered,” he said.

The Deputy Minister directed the IEA to consider the New Patriotic Party as their main target to enhance the debate since they are the only party lacking meaningful messages to sell to Ghanaians with only “all die be die” and “win at all cost” mantra as their only message.

"...the IEA should throw more light on the opposition parties since they are the ones that needs more attention," he added.

Source: Chris Joe Quaicoe/Peacefmonline.com

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