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18.11.2004 Politics

Aggudey Wins Presidential Debate

By IC4

Accra, Nov. 17, IC4 - President Kufour was the only Presidential Candidate of the four contenders to miss the Presidential debate organized by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) in Accra.

President Kufour is not known to be a good public speaker or performer and thus many have concluded that his absence was a sign that he could not hold his own in debate with the other contenders. In contrast many had underestimated the CPP contender, but a Ghana News Agency survey on the Presidential Debate showed that Mr George Aggudey of Convention People's Party (CPP) gained the most.

Our own feedback on calls to a monitoring group showed clearly that Mr Aggudey won the debate. He came across as the most charismatic of the group and his responses on the many issues raised in questions from professional bodies such as the Ghana Bar Association (GBA), Ghana Registered Nurses Association (GRNA), Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS), Ghana Medical Association (GMA) came across clearly with the CPP message put across strongly and vigorously.

The Highlights of what Mr Aguddey said are :

· A government under his leadership would take a second look at the repealed Criminal Libel Law to protect the privacy of Ghanaian. "I believe citizens must be given the chance to seek redress when their reputation is harmed without fear or favour," .

· Ethnic affiliations must not be allowed to tear Ghanaians apart.

· A CPP government would give all Ghanaians, irrespective of their tribe equal opportunities to develop themselves.

· Position would only be given to people on merit and not on their tribal affiliation.

· Irrespective of personal differences the country had to remain a cohesive unit from which every member of the society drew his strength.

· Ghana would remain underdeveloped if it failed to focus on harnessing the domestic productive sector and taking advantage of the natural resources that the country was endowed with.

· We must look at what we can produce and stop the unbridled importation of goods into the country.

· The continuous reliance on donor support for the country's development would not lead to the economic freedom sought by Ghanaians.

· A CPP Government would restructure the educational system with the view of making it free at all levels.

CPP insiders told IC4 that Mr Aggudey seeks to emulate his mentor Dr Kwame Nkrumah and thus happier when campaigning in remote towns and villages finding out the needs of people. Some had interpreted this as a fear of the media but increasingly it is becoming clearer that when he faces the press he is at his best and more than holds his own.

In a major policy speech at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology last month Mr Aggudey was given a standing ovation by the students of Tech. and at the launch of the CPP's Manifesto – “ Bringing The Economy Back Home” Mr Aggudey showed his metal in a powerful 55 minute speech.

Some of his biggest critics have now said openly that they have underestimated him and that he can more than hold his own.

Dr Edmund Delle, Chairman of the CPP, said shortly after the debate that Mr Aggudey is on course to cause a stir this election.

Many Ghanaians have now heard Mr Aggudey and have formed a very positive image about him on their own rather than the propaganda against Mr Aggudey based on the eternal fear of the CPP by its opponents.

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