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Politics | Nov 17, 2004

Second Presidential Debate In Jeopardy

JOY ONLINE

There appears to be some uncertainty surrounding the proposed Presidential Forum to be organized by the State Broadcaster on Thursday.

The Presidential candidates contesting the polls have cast doubts on whether they would participate in the debate organised in collaboration with the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD).

The Forum would be beamed live on GTV and Radio Ghana, but the participants say there has been no firm confirmation from the organizers.

JoyNews has learnt that the management of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) is currently locked up in a meeting discussing whether to go ahead with the event or reschedule it.

Meanwhile, JoyNews has been talking to the three Presidential Candidates who took part on Tuesday's Institute of Economic Affair's organised debate about their preparedness for another round questioning.

The candidate of the Convention People's Party (CPP), George Aggudey told JoyNews that he will be willing to take part in another debate, so long as his party executives approve of it.

The NDC's presidential candidate Professor Atta Mills on his part said he would also take part in the debate provided the other candidates would also show up.

But members of his campaign team say they would not submit their candidate for another debate.

The NDC's Director of Administration, Kwamena Ahwoi told JoyFM that his candidate is currently campaigning in the Central region as such it would be inappropriate to recall him for another debate.

“He has a strict schedule to keep. He is campaigning far away and he needs to focus on what he is doing. Bringing him back would disorganised the campaign plan and you know we have a limited time for campaigning,” he said.

A furious Dr. Edward Mahama of the Grand Coalition said he only got to know of a second debate on Tuesday when he was preparing for the IEA one.

But he said his participation would only be based on a firm commitment that the President John Agyekum Kufuor would also be part.

His contention is that there would be nothing new if he has to debate the other two candidates who were also part of the one organized by the IEA.

But there is still silence from the camp of President Kufuor.

The NPP has refused to comment about the president's participation although the President's Press Secretary has issued a statement to the effect that the President is not aware of any Debate or Forum.

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