Dr Ransford Gyampo, a Research Fellow at the Governance Unit of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) says “the decision to debate or not to debate cannot be left entirely to the political and presidential aspirants to make”.
According to him, politicians have taken the electorate for granted for so long and it is time for Ghanaians to determine who takes part in the debate and who does not.
This follows a decision of some political parties not to take part in the IEA debate.
The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) has advertised on its website that the first 2016 presidential debates will be held on November 8, 2016 in Tamale, while the second is scheduled for November 25, 2016.
However, the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the largest opposition party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) have refused to take part. This is the second time the IEA has failed to bring these two parties together for a debate prior to the December 7 elections.
Dr Gyampo told Nana Yaw Kesse, sit-in host of Peace FM morning show ‘Kokrokoo’ that the two political parties have no choice than to take part in the debate.
“As a presidential candidate you have no choice than to debate because through that platform, you are able to do issue-based politics void of insults. Debates also ensure political accountability…power belongs to the people and it is the responsibility of the ordinary people to make a choice… The decision to debate or not to debate cannot be left entirely to the political and presidential aspirants to make. We Ghanaians must also have a stake as to who must debate and who must not debate…when you look at their (political parties) attitude; they are telling us they want power but they don’t want to be subjected to probing questions; if care is not taken, they will continue to take us (Ghanaians) for granted”
He further bemoaned: “for the first time in the history of the fourth republic, the various political elites took us for granted; look at when they brought out their manifestoes; it has never happened. For the first time they disrespected the citizenry…they brought it less than three months to election; most often it is done a year or eight months before elections…nobody condemned them…You cannot go and explain the details of your manifesto during partisan rallies; it is when you engage in a healthy contest on a credible and on an independent debate platform”.
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