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General News of Thursday, 19 May 2016

Source: Myjoyonline.com

IEA commences discussions towards debate

The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) has commenced discussions with representatives of the presidential candidates of 2016 election as part of preparations towards its debate series.

This was contained in a statement signed by the Executive Director of the Institute, Mrs. Jean Mensa on Thursday, May 19.

The IEA came under attack recently after announcing its consideration to organise a separate debate for the Presidential candidates of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

This follows a survey the Institute conducted with respondent saying they would want a debate between the two main political parties.

The NDC accused the Institute of failing to consult it about plans for the debate. The party indicated that its candidate, President John Dramani Mahama, would not participate in the debate.

But the IEA denied the claim by the NDC and has urged Ghanaians "not to allow the minor issues surrounding the announcement of intentions to hold debates to overshadow the ideals of debate."

The IEA indicated it its statement that separate meetings have been held with representatives of the flagbearers of the NPP and Convention Peoples’ Party (CPP).

Read the full statement below:

THE IEA 2016 DEBATE PROGRAMMES
IEA COMMENCES DISCUSSIONS WITH REPRESENTATIVES OF THE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES OF THE 2016 ELECTION

As part of preparations towards the 2016 Presidential Debate Series, the IEA held separate meetings with representatives of the flag bearers of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and Convention Peoples’ Party (CPP) on Thursday, the 19th of May, 2016 at the IEA in Accra.

The NPP was represented by Mr. Peter Mac Manu, Campaign Chairman of the NPP flag bearer and Mr. John Boadu, acting General Secretary of the NPP. The CPP was represented by Prof Edmund Delle, Leader and National Chairman and Hajia Hamdatu Haruna, First Vice Chairperson of the CPP.

The meetings which discussed modalities and arrangements for the Evening Encounters, Vice Presidential and Presidential Debates for 2016 ended successfully.

The IEA urges all Ghanaians not to allow the minor issues surrounding the announcement of intentions to hold debates to overshadow the ideals of debate. These ideals include:

Promoting issues-based elections;
Educating the public on the respective policy positions of the aspirants;
Calming down political tension;

Ensuring citizen participation in the governance process; and
Promoting political accountability by empowering the electorate to hold leaders to promises made on debate platforms.

The IEA is of the firm belief and conviction that “those who seek to govern must avail themselves to answer questions from the electorate to ensure that they understand their concerns and have the capacity to address them.” In this regard, the Institute urges all Presidential Aspirants to take full advantage of the debate platform to dialogue with the citizenry.

We encourage the general public to submit their questions to the IEA through the following channels: FACEBOOK: IEA GHANA and TWITTER: @IEAGHANA
The Institute wishes to advice all stakeholders to appropriately send their legitimate concerns to the IEA Secretariat. We assure the public that these issues would be resolved amicably through dialogue.