Presidential debaters ‘cheated’ -Ayariga
The People National Convention (PNC) Presidential candidate, Mr. Hassan Ayariga has given the strongest indication yet that his political chances for the December 7 2012 election has not been affected by the plethora of criticisms he received after Tuesday’s IEA Presidential debate in Tamale.
In an interview yesterday on ETV’s ‘Awake’ morning show, he pooh-poohed the idea that his performance at the debate was below par, and rather accusing his fellow debaters of bringing their respective parties’ manifestos and prepared notes to the debate venue.
He rhetorically asked why manifestos and prepared notes should be allowed into a debating exercise, and emphasized that in real debates the contestants are not supposed to use any materials that they would refer to. He added that he was the only Presidential candidate who entered the hall with a paper and pen, and only took notes whiles others spoke.
The Presidential debate was organized by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) and attracted over 400 accredited persons. The debate saw President John Mahama of the National Democratic Congress, Nana Akufo-Addo of New Patriotic Party, Hassan Ayariga of People National Convention and Dr. Abu Sakara Foster of Convention Peoples Party.
The debate itself was moderated by Prof Jane Naana Agyeman, former Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast and Kojo Oppong Nkrumah of Joy FM fame. The contestants showcased their vision and ideas on the Economy, Private sector and Health.
After the IEA Tamale debate, all the presidential candidates, except the People National Convention’s Hassan Ayariga, have received plaudits for their performance. The PNC candidate has been widely criticized for his low depth of knowledge on national issues and finding solutions to them.
Hassan Ayariga has, however, strongly rejected the verdict of the masses on him, saying the debate was not all about grammar and good English, but about the substance of ideas, where he believes he excelled.
On the issue of education, which has become topical, leading to the December 7 elections, Mr. Ayariga opted for access rather than making secondary education free.
Ironically, the PNC manifesto is flagging the free education concept, and political observers are wondering whose position Ayariga was espousing on education during the debate.
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