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09.11.2004 General News

CDD-Ghana organises political debates

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Dzolokpuita, (V/R), Nov. 9, GNA- The Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) is organising public debates for parliamentary candidates in three constituencies in the Volta Region as part of its good governance support programme.

The Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) and the United States agency for International Development USAID-Ghana are supporting the programme.

The constituencies are, Ho-West, Biakoye in the Jasikan District and Ketu-South.

Mr. Elvis Otoo, a Research Officer of CDD-Ghana said the 25 constituencies being featured in the debates countrywide were selected, based on the anticipated keenness of the elections there and the fact that female and independent candidates were being fielded.

The debates centred on local government and decentralisation, health, HIV/AIDS, corruption, accountability and transparency, mainstream gender, national and local security, agriculture and food security.

Each candidate has five minutes for self- introduction, after which they are led by the Moderator to respond to questions on how they would tackle the stated debate issues when elected to Parliament.

This is followed by question time when candidates respond to concerns of the audience on developmental issues.

The debates are then crowned by closing statements by the various candidates re-stating why they should be the preferred candidate. The first of the debates in the Volta Region took place at Dzolokpuita in the Ho-West Constituency on Monday where Miss Elizabeth Ohene, Minister of State, Tertiary Education, for the NPP, Mr Francis Agbotse, the incumbent NDC MP and Ms Nancy Ella Sifa for the EGLE Party came face- to- face with each other and a partisan crowd.

Issues of corruption and awards of contract were the sore points that inflamed passions of supporters of the NPP and NDC, who shouted catcalls at each other.

Points of agreement were on gender issues, health and HIV/AIDS, agriculture and food security.

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