Political Debates & Evening Encounters
The IEA has organised debates between Presidential candidates in the lead-up to the 2000, 2004 and 2008 elections. The 2008 debates were the first time that all candidates of all political parties represented in the Parliament participated.It was also the first time that Vice-Presidential candidates were brought together in a debate.
By all accounts, the Debates were successful in helping to lower the political temperature and reduce tension, contributing to the peaceful nature of the 2008 Presidential and Parliamentary elections. Notably, at the end of the second Debate the Presidential Candidates held hands and made a verbal and symbolic pledge for peace before, during and after the election. Pictures from the 2008 debates can be found here.
In 2008 for the first time, The IEA also initiated the Evening Encounter programme. The programme provided a platform for Presidential candidates to inform the electorate on their policies and to provide the electorate the opportunity to interact with and ask questions of the aspirants.
Transcripts from the 2008 Evening Encounters and the Debates will be made available on the IEA’s publication page .
In addition to the information below, The IEA has also issued a press release on the 2012 Presidential Debates and Evening Encounters. This can be found here
2012 Presidential Debates
With the generous support of STAR Ghana and The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). in 2012 The IEA proposes to facilitate the holding of an unprecedented three Presidential Debates between the candidates of all political parties with Parliamentary representation. Relevantly, the candidates for Ghana’s 2012 Election include:
The purpose of the 2012 Presidential Debates is to provide a forum for the Presidential candidates to come together to discuss and be challenged on their visions, policies and programmes to enable the electorate make an informed choice. The Debates seek to introduce an issues-driven approach and dimension to the Presidential campaign.
As in previous years, the Political Debates will be organised by a Presidential Debates Committee, a nine member body which will comprise representatives of religious bodies, traditional leaders, the intellectual community, professional associations and the media. The Committee will have monthly meetings, meet with representatives of Candidates and draw up guidelines and finalise the format of the Debates. Membership of the committee will be announced shortly.
The Debates will canvass a broad range of governance, economic and social issues, with the questions being determined through consultation with a broad range of stakeholders. One of the new features of the 2012 Debates Programme is the introduction of a third Presidential Debate focussing on social issues. Supported by (UNICEF), such a focussed debate will provide all candidates with a unique opportunity to explain to Ghanaians how they will ensure that the population is healthy, that children can get an education that improves their lives, and that the most vulnerable in society are cared for.
Another new feature of the 2012 Debates is that the Debates themselves will be preceded by a questionnaire which will be administered to the Presidential candidates to which they will be required to submit written responses. The responses of the Presidential candidates will be published into pamphlets and distributed countrywide as representing the policy positions of the Presidential candidates on the issues raised. Also to be published with the responses in the pamphlets will be the detailed curriculum vitae of the Presidential candidates.
A further new feature of the 2012 Debates is that they will be summarised in the major Ghanaian languages and presented on radio a day or two after the live Debates. This should afford especially the non-literate electorate valuable opportunity to assess the candidates individually.
The three Presidential Debates will be held in Accra, Tamale and Takoradi. The Debates will be broadcast live on radio and television throughout Ghana. The proposed dates for the Debates are:
1. 1st Presidential Debate----------9th October, 2012-------Tamale
2. 2nd Presidential Debate---------23rd October, 2012------Takoradi
3. 3rd Presidential Debate----------20th November, 2012----Accra
Stay tuned to this page for further information on the 2012 Debates.
2012 Vice-Presidential Debate
Following on from the success of the inaugural Vice-Presidential Debates in 2008, The IEA will again be hosting a Debate between the Vice-Presidential candidates of the political parties in Ghana with Parliamentary representation. This Debate will provide a crucial opportunity for the Ghanaian electorate to come to know more about the Presidential candidates’ running mates, who would seek to take up an important position in Ghana’s Executive arm of Government. The proposed date for the Vice-Presidential Debate at this stage is:
Vice Presidential Debate--------6th November, 2012----Sunyani
2012 Evening Encounter Series
Following on from the success of the 2008 Evening Encounter series, The IEA will again be holding four Evening Encounters with the four Presidential candidates of parties with Parliamentary representation. In doing so The IEA is supported by STAR Ghana and the Netherlands Institute of Multiparty Democracy.
Each candidate will have the sole platform to present their vision for governance in a thirty (30) minute speech. This is crucial, as the candidates will need to have a detailed plan on key policy issues, and to have an intimate knowledge and understanding of their proposals. This guarantees that the candidates will put extensive thought and careful consideration to all their proposals. The candidates are at liberty to decide on which issues to speak on, and topics may range from the economy, security, illicit drug trade, youth development, etc. There is no restriction on which issues the candidates could speak about, and there is no requirement to consider any particular issue.
This will be followed by questions from the assembled audience. Participants will be made up of civil society organizations, the business community, the Trades Union Congress (TUC), academia, representatives of professional associations such as the Ghana Medical Association, the Ghana Registered Nurses Association, the Ghana Bar Association, etc., grassroots-based organizations and the media. The audience is expected to quiz the candidates on their presentations, but is also allowed to ask questions about policy issues not directly addressed by the candidates.
The one-on-one format of the programme is designed to ensure an open and distinct avenue for the candidates to project their vision for the country to a neutral crowd.
The four Evening Encounters will be held between June,July and August will all be held in Accra. As with the Debates they will be broadcast live across the country on radio and television.
The first Evening Encounter event took place on Tuesday the 26th of June 2012 with the Presidential Candidate of the Conventions People’s Party, Dr Abu Sakara, at the Ghana-India Kofi Annan ICT Centre. A copy of his speech outlining his vision and programmes for the country can be found here.
The second Evening Encounter was held on Tuesday the 17th of July 2012 also at the Ghana-India Kofi Annan ICT Centre. This event featured the Presidential Candidate of the Peoples National Convention, Mr. Hassan Ayariga. A copy of his speech outlining his vision and programmes can be found here.
The third Evening Encounter was held on Tuesday 21st of August 2012 at the Ghana-India Kofi Annan ICT Center. The event featured the Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party, Hon. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. A copy of his speech outlining his vision and programmes can be found here.
The fourth and final Evening Encounter was held on Thurday, 18th of October 2012 at the Ghana-India Kofi Annan ICT Center. The event featured President John Dramani Mahama, the Presidential Candidate of the National Democratic Congress. A copy of his speech outlining his vision and programmes can be found here.