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2016 Presidential debate: ‘Jokers will not be entertained’ – Sammy Awuku


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The National Youth Organizer of the largest opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) Sammy Awuku expects the quality of the 2016 Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) Presidential debate to be of high standard looking at the caliber of Presidential candidates of the major political parties.

According to him, these are respected people who will not reduce such a serious exercise to a joking session as was done by one candidate during the 2012 Presidential debate.

The flagbearer of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Hassan Ayariga, is seen by a large section of the Ghanaian public to have made a mess of himself at the 2012 debate as he was struck with uncontrollable bouts of coughs, which some analysts believe was not genuine.

Mr. Ayariga’s cough during the second edition of the IEA debate held for the four presidential candidates with representation in Parliament namely NPP, NDC, CPP and PNC at the Banquet Hall, State House, was mostly disruptive and distracted the flow of proceedings during the debate.

Observers were curious why Mr. Ayariga’s explosive cough only got the better of him when the presidential candidate of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, took his turn to respond to questions from the moderators of the debate, a development that raised questions about the genuineness of his alleged sickness.

But speaking on Peace FM on Tuesday, Sammy Awuku was convinced that such mischievous display will not come up this time around since the current presidential candidates are distinguished people who will not engage in acts that will reduce their dignity.

“When I look at the line up of the various Presidential candidates for the 2016 elections such as PNC’s Dr Edward Mahama, an experienced politician, CPP’s Ivor Greenstreet, very intelligent man…you look at Nana Akufo-Addo another experienced politician and also President John Mahama, as compared to the 2012 line candidates,… if you look at the caliber and pedigree of people lined up now, I don’t think a debate will be held for the candidate and someone’s policy for coming to debate will be just to come and cough to distract his other competitor.”