• Saturday , 18 January 2020

Much Ado About Nothing

IEA Presidential DebateWow! The news today is full of talk about the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) presidential debates. The IEA has decided that this year they will have 2 debates. One for the the NPP and NDC presidential candidates and the other for the “remaining” candidates from the smaller parties.

The PPP is justifiably upset about the current arrangement arguing that this is a multiparty democracy. In a young democracy such as hours, are we right to exclude candidates such as Paa Kwesi Nduom whose contributions can only serve to deepen and improve the conduct of party politics in Ghana?

These are the sentiments of Paa Kow Ackon, of the PPP, which he expressed in an interview on Radio Gold, this morning.

The interviewer then moved on to the NDC, who are also unhappy about the IEA’s plans. But you know who they called? The Chief Executive of the Ghana Freezones Board, who then proceeded to condemn the IEA as no more than an appendage of the NPP opposition, with no other intent other than that of undermining the ruling NDC, in order to bring the NPP to power. The Chief Executive of the Ghana Freezones Board making the government’s case not to take part in a Presidential debate. Am I missing something?

By the way, Presidential debates don’t only take place in Ghana. How else do others do it? Who qualifies to take part and who doesn’t? Must we struggle to invent the wheel every four years at election time?

My two pence: use the studios of our Public Service national broadcaster GTV. They have the infrastructure to invite all the candidates into their large purpose built studio, where sound, lighting and cameras are fully available.

Bring in a studio audience that represents the whole country and have a team of good journalists do what they are trained for and what they spend their time doing.

Don’t carry presidential candidates to Kumasi., Tamale and cape coast in an effort to get national participation. GTV broadcasts will reach much further than that at the same time and for all our benefit.

Do the “townhall sessions” there as well. Bring the individual candidates before a studio audience that has been selected to represent the length and breadth of the country, with questions relevant to them.

Is this so difficult to do? Or are we going to accuse our national broadcaster of being biased as well!


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