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18.11.2004 Politics

Prez Debate: Ward-Brew Regrets President’s Absence

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The leader of the Democratic People's Party(DPP),Mr Thomas Nuako Ward-Brew, has expressed regret at President J. A. Kufuor's inability to participate in the debate organised in Accra on Tuesday for presidential candidates contesting the December polls by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA).

He said what transpired at the debate was not beyond the President, adding, “It was a field day for the opposition parties to draw a strong alliance against him.” In an interview in Accra yesterday, Mr Ward-Brew was of the view that the questions posed to the participants, namely Professor J.E. A. Mills of the National Democratic Congress (NDC),Mr George Aggudey of the Convention People's Party (CPP) and Dr Edward Mahama of the Grand Coalition, were not philosophical and challenging enough.

He explained that the nature of the questions did not elicit the best from the candidates, who are contesting the highest office of the land.“If 'charlie wote' was not good enough, then the kind of questions posed was also not good enough,” he added.

According to him, it was puzzling for the President not to participate in a debate in which he had participated four years ago, adding “The last time they said Professor Mills ran away; now they will say Kufuor has run away.” Mr Ward-Brew was of the view that the debate provided the opportunity for the President to defend the policies of his government but said he unfortunately failed to avail himself of it.

He said gone were the days when people held the view that a party could win power when it concentrated solely on the grassroots and not debates, fora and other activities. “There is some uncertainty about the outcome of the elections due to the serious efforts Prof. Mills is putting in to wrest power.It makes it dangerous for anyone to underrate him,” he said.

He attributed his assertion to the fact that Prof. Mills was a former Vice-President, well known and had personal qualities which drew a lot of admirers to him. Commenting on certain issues raised during the debate, he said there was no need for the enactment of the Domestic Violence Bill because existing legislation was enough to tackle violence in all forms.

He stated that most of the women who advocated the cause of the Domestic Violence Bill either knew little about relationships or had been disappointed by men before. He advocated skirt and 'blouse' voting, saying it was good for democracy.According to him, those who were against such a voting pattern were desperate and must be ignored.

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