Ghanaian Chronicle

The Debate of Destiny

Date published: October 30, 2012


The debate at Tamale this evening might not do much to sway the voting pattern of the party faithful. But it would go a long way to enable the live audience and millions of arm-chair critics throughout the country to catch a glimpse of four of the eight Presidential Candidates under the microscope.

It is, therefore, unfortunate that the average Ghanaian voter would not get the opportunity of assessing all the eight candidates at the same time. The Institute of Economic Affairs has its own means of separating the wheat from the chaff.

For the IEA, recognition is only given to political parties with representation in Parliament, which is bad news for some of those touring the country and canvassing for votes to lead this nation.

In 2008, Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom, the Presidential Candidate of the Convention People’s Party, was adjudged by television viewers as the most impressive from the debate floor. Unfortunately, that performance did not impress voters who rewarded him with only one percent of the popular vote.

This year, the owner of the most famous moustache in national politics will be missing when the Master of Ceremony calls the debate to order this evening in the Northern Regional Capital. Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom’s Progressive People’s Party has no representation in Parliament. Under IEA rules of engagement, the party has no mandate to appear on IEA programmes.

Dr. Nduom is not the only candidate in this dilemma. Dr. Henry Lartey, who has inherited the father and son legacy, answering the name of the Great Consolidate Popular Party, will also miss the boat in Tamale.

Two other Presidential Candidates will not show up in the Northern Regional capital this evening.  Mr. Akwasi Addae, the leader of the United Front Party, who has been sacked by party members, but is still entertained as leader of the party by Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan and his Electoral Commission, and the only independent candidate, Mr. Jacob Osei Yeboah, will not be among the elite debaters.

Even then, there is not much to be lost from their absence. The four front runners are expected to engage the attention of the whole nation in a manner that is likely to encourage the not so committed the opportunity to assess the four candidates.

Tamale is gearing up for the big debate in a manner that only the Northern Regional Capital can do. In their enthusiasm to offer maximum support to their candidates, the youth should not go over the top and bring themselves to harm.

We are told by the police that the early announcement that two people on motor bicycles had died while welcoming NPP Presidential Candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to the Tamale Metropolis for the debate, is not true. Apparently, the two people died in an accident that had no bearing on the welcoming party. Even then, every death is unfortunate and we commiserate with the bereaved families.

This evening’s debate is going to be innovative. It is the first time that the sitting President will be presenting himself to be examined. The Chronicle salutes the courage of President Mahama in making himself available.

If the debate would be as animated as the mood in Tamale, then we are all in for a treat. The Chronicle wishes the four contestants the best of everything. We will have our microscope on them.

We take this opportunity to wish the Institute of Economic Affairs a successful event. The nation is grateful for the platform the institute has provided for all Ghanaians to assess our Presidential Candidates.

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