11 Apr 2012
As part of its commitment to entrench multiparty democracy, good governance as well as promote issue based and violence free elections in Ghana.The Institute of Economic Affairs will host a series of debates in the run up to the 2012 elections. These Debates represent the fourth in the series that have been organised by The IEA. Debates have been organised by The IEA in the 2000, 2004 and 2008 election years.
Founded in 1989, The IEA seeks to broaden the debate on public policy, engender private sector-led economic growth and strengthen the pillars of democracy. The organisation of the Debates is one facet in the broad array of work that The IEA undertakes in the area of democracy consolidation in Ghana.
The 2012 Pre-Election Debate Series comprise of:
• Three Presidential Debates ( Accra, Takoradi and Tamale)
• Four Evening Encounters with the Presidential Aspirants of the Parliamentary Political Parties
The Preamble of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana and its first Article reposes the sovereignty of Ghana in the will of the people of Ghana. The Debates are an expression of that sovereignty.
The IEA is of the view that, those who wish to govern must allow themselves to be subjected to scrutiny by the people to ensure that they understand their concerns and have the capacity to address them.
The Debates will enable the electorate take ownership of the electoral process and provide them with the opportunity to demand accountability from the Presidential Aspirants even before one ascends to the high office of the Presidency.
The IEA Presidential Debates
The fourth in the series, the 2012 Presidential Debates will provide a single platform for the Presidential candidates to answer questions on various aspects of the nation’s development process. It will be a form of policy dialogue engagement at which the Presidential Aspirants will be enabled not only to present their own viewpoints and programmes but also point out weaknesses in the policies of their co-contestants and present alternatives to those policies and programmes.
Two moderators will field questions to each of the Presidential Aspirants. Questions will be based on information received from the general public, various interest groups and organisations.
Objectives of the Presidential Debates
• The Presidential Debates will introduce an issue-based approach to the campaign and divert the campaign’s attention from personality attacks and insults to the real issues confronting the country.
• The Presidential Debates will afford the electorate the opportunity to be informed about the policies and programmes of each Presidential Aspirants and enable them make an informed choice on Election Day.
• The on-the-spur-of-the-moment questions from the Debate Moderators will also enable the electorate to judge how each of the candidates reacts to sudden and emergency situations; therefore, their sturdiness and reliability as individuals into whose hands the destiny of the country should be entrusted.
• The Presidential Debates will also be a way of ensuring that the electorate takes ownership of the electoral process and provide a forum for accountability from the candidates even before one of them becomes President.
• The Presidential Debates are designed to signal and ensure voter awareness, stability, national cohesion and inter-party camaraderie at the leadership level which will hopefully resonate at the grassroots level. This will help reduce tension and promote peaceful and violence free election.
Overall, The IEA expects the Debates to be vigorous and uncompromising but decent in tone.
IEA Evening Encounters
The Evening Encounter Series was initiated by the IEA in the year 2008. The IEA Evening Encounters provide an individual platform, and a unique opportunity, for each of the Presidential Candidates to share their vision of programmes and strategies for development. It differs from the Presidential Debates in that, while Debates centre on the interaction between Presidential Candidates, the focus of the Evening Encounters is on the interaction between Presidential Aspirants and the electorate. The Evening Encounters will provide a forum where the flag bearers and indeed the political parties have equal access to the media.
Objectives of the IEA Evening Encounters
The IEA Evening Encounters create a sole platform for each Presidential Aspirant to present his/her programmes and manifestoes to the electorate.
• The electorate have the opportunity to be properly informed about all the options and proposals being offered by the Presidential Aspirants and the Political Parties.
• It provides the electorate, including key interest groups and organisations, an opportunity to ask probing questions of the aspirants. This would enable the electorate to discern what each Presidential Aspirant stands for, what each Aspirant intends to do and the direction in which each Aspirant intends to take Ghana.
• The electorate would be enabled through the Evening Encounters, to analyse and critique the plans of the various Aspirants to determine how realistic the plans and programmes are. This would enable the electorate make an informed choice on Election Day.
The IEA Presidential Debates and Evening Encounters would be covered live on major television and radio networks throughout the country.
Events Date Venue
Evening Encounters May - june Accra
Presidential Debates September- November Accra, Takoradi ,Tamale
The IEA is of the conviction that those who wish to govern must allow themselves to be subjected to scrutiny by the people to ensure that they understand their concerns and have the capacity to address them.