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General News of Friday, 21 October 2016

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Mahama must propose vice-presidential debate - Abu Ramadan

Former organiser of the People’s National Convention (PNC) says President John Mahama should first propose a vice presidential debate before facing Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in a debate.

Abu Ramadan says when Kwesi Amissah-Arthur and Dr Mahamudu Bawumia finish their debate then Ghanaians would decide if it is necessary for the President to face off with his opposite number, Nana Akufo-Addo.

The President repeated his challenge to Nana Akufo-Addo for a one-on-one debate after watching the US presidential debate Wednesday.

Speaking on Volta Star Radio in the Volta Region where he is campaigning, Thursday, Mr Mahama said Ghanaians deserve to hear the arguments for change or continuation before the vote on December 7.

But speaking on Asempa FM's 'Ekosi sen' political discussion programme Friday, Mr Ramadan said even in America where President Mahama watched the debate which excited him to want to debate the NPP leader, there was a vice-presidential debate.

He said the last Presidential debate prior to the 2012 election worked "a lot of magic" for the President as it convinced a lot of Ghanaians that "he [Mahama] could deliver when given the chance to govern."

Mr Ramadan bemoaned the fact that the NDC does not respect Mr Amissah-Arthur and has always made him play second fiddle to the President.

He cited examples of the former Bank of Ghana (BoG) governor being sidelined and not even projected on billboards and posters that have only the president's image.

According to him, the NDC is supposed to be selling a "ticket" of both candidates and not just the presidential candidate adding the 2008 billboard and posters had both the late John Evans Attah Mills as a presidential candidate and John Mahama as vice presidential candidate.

He continued that Mr Mahama's recent call is as a result of seeing how "very very serious" Ghanaians have become and it is high time the President and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) take Ghanaians serious.

"Clearly, the NDC and John Mahama are on a back foot, they are losing the election and are looking for a way to come back. Prior to taking a decision not to take part in the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) debate, they thought victory was already in the bag, only to go to the field and realise things are not good for them," he said.

He said he would be surprised if the NPP leader agrees to grant Mr Mahama even a WhatsApp debate stressing the President does not need a debate but should rather go and set the record straight with the people.

"Desperation has set in and Mahama is finding a way back", Mr Ramdan said, urging Nana Akufo-Addo to reply to the challenge and let Ghanaians know whether he would agree to debate the President.

However, an NDC Communicator, Chief Hamilton Nixon Biney who was also on the programme argued that that it is unnecessary to have such a vice presidential debate since the two do not feature on the ballot paper.

He said at the end of the day, people would have to vote for either President Mahama or Nana Akufo-Addo.