Presidential candidates who could not participate in the Presidential Debate because they have no representation in Parliament, have expressed dissatisfaction with the general performance of their colleagues.
An independent presidential candidate, Kwesi Amoafo Yeboah, took a swipe at the aspirants describing their performance as a “disappointment”, because, to him, they failed to offer anything new for Ghana.
“I like some of what they said but others I thought it was a bit of recycling of old ideas presented to the people,” he told Joy News.
For the Democratic Freedom Party's flag-bearer, Emmanuel Ansah Antwi, his colleagues were simply unimpressive.
The communications specialist pointed out some loopholes in his assessment of the contestants and said they were “nervous” and only took respite in “turning their heads and all those things”. This, he said, betrayed them as poor communicators.
Mr. Ansah Antwi was also not enthused about the substance of their delivery on agriculture. The DFP, he said, “would have talked about the cooperative system where we want a cooperative organisation which sometimes will be in the form of a private enterprise where they will set up agro-industries where they will add value to our mushrooms or tomatoes.”
Dan Lartey, the octogenarian presidential aspirant who failed to impress the Electoral Commission and so won't be part of the December polls, said the candidates did a poor job and lampooned them for allowing themselves to be cowed by the audience.
He said although the moderators raised issues of national importance; “The aspirants were not able to tell us how they are going to create wealth in order to be able to work out the commitment they have in education, health, what not and what not.”
He accused Nana Akufo-Addo of cheating the other contestants. “Most of the questions they asked him, he read from a note. Didn't you see that? I saw him reading from notes. He gave me the impression that he had stage fright. I mean he found an informed audience before him and so he was afraid of them."
In all, Uncle Dan Lartey was of the view that Dr. Nduom was the best. “He did better than the others.”
The organisers of the debate were accused of bias, because the debate gave undue advantage to the participants over the others who were sidelined because they had no representation in parliament.
The first of two Presidential Debates for four political parties - Nana Akufo-Addo representing the New Patriotic Party, Dr. Edward Mahama for the People's National Convention, Prof John Evans Atta Mills for the National Democratic Congress and Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom, Convention People's Party - ended successfully in Accra on Wednesday night.
They answered varied questions on governance, the economy, energy, health, security, education, women and children, Ghana's oil find, regional integration, pension and a host of other subjects.
The forum was organized by the Institute of Economic Affairs with the support of Joy FM and the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation.
Story by Isaac Essel