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12.05.2008 Politics

IEA Begins Encounter With Presidential Aspirants

The Institute of Economic Affairs is hosting a programme dubbed 'Evening Encounter' to provide the platform to presidential candidates of four political parties with representation in parliament to educate the electorate on their visions and plans.

The programme, which is in collaboration with the IEA and Joy FM, an Accra-based private radio station, is also to give the candidates the opportunity to provide strategies on how they intend to govern the country and answer questions from the electorate.

The IEA said in a statement in Accra on Friday that the first 'Encounter' would be with Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom of the Convention People's Party (CPP) at Alisa Hotel on May 14.

Other presidential candidates expected are Prof. John Evans Atta Mills of the National Democratic Congress (NPP), Nana Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NDC), and Dr Edward Mahama of the People's National Convention (PNC).

The IEA said the programme was for presidential candidates and “no substitute would be allowed to speak or make a presentation on behalf of a flag bearer.

“In the event that an aspirant is unable to make it, the institute must be informed at least 96 hours before the said date, of any change in date. A new date should be provided.”

An IEA document said the 'Encounter' would also enable “the electorate to discern what each candidate stands for, what each aspirant intends to do and the direction in which each aspirant intends to take Ghana”.

It said the programme would also serve as a way of ensuring that the electorate took ownership of the electoral process and provided a forum for accountability from the candidates even before they became president.

The programme, which would be live on radio and television, would be viewed by over 12 million people in and out of Ghana and would provide a fair access to the media by the candidates.

“It is the hope of the IEA that this 'Encounter' will divert political discourse from one of acrimony and personality attacks to an issue-based debate.

“The electorate would be enabled through the 'Encounter' to debate, analyse and critique the various aspirants to determine how realistic these plans are. This would deepen and promote multiparty democracy and good governance.”

Under the ground rules, there would be a welcoming address by the IEA after which the political party would be allowed five minutes to introduce its candidate who would be granted 30 minutes to make a presentation.

The candidate will then be asked three questions by the moderator to open up the discussion segment after which invited guests would be given the opportunity to ask questions based on the presentation.

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