The second and final Presidential Debate came off Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at the Banquet Hall of the State House in Accra.
The Debate, which was rescheduled from Tuesday as a result of a five-day national mourning for late Former Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama, saw four 2012 presidential candidates trade ideas on issues bordering on good governance, natural resources and women and children among others.
The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) themed the 2012 Debate: “Upholding electoral accountability”.
The ‘Special Four’ who participated were President John Dramani Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Dr. Michael Abu Sakara of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), Hassan Ayariga of the People’s National Convention (PNC) and Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
The Debate lasted over three hours, contrary to the assurance earlier given by the organizers.
Nonetheless, party representatives had mixed reactions to the performance of their presidential candidates.
PNC’s General Secretary Bernard Mornah emphasized the understanding his party’s candidate had of the issues and how ordinarily he explained them to the audience and ordinary Ghanaians as a whole.
“We have been able to distill that our party’s presidential candidate understands the issues and he takes them from the ordinary level of man’s understanding and concludes on them,” he said.
Chairman of NPP Jake Obetsebi Lamptey gave good credits to three of the candidates.
He singled out Dr Abu Sakara as endorsing issues that dovetail into the manifesto of the NPP.
But he said President Mahama’s adequate preparation for this Debate impacted zilch on his performance.
“The President seemed clairvoyantly well prepared for this debate,” he said, “but at the end of the day, it was still a matter of ‘We hope to do’, ‘We are going to do’, and so on.”
He said policies that NDC, at one point, said they had done, have vanished into thin air.
“Nana Akufo-Addo was able to bring out his vision,” he concluded.
CPP’s Lawyer Bright Akwetey was full of praise for the four candidates’ performance. He said it dispels perception that politics generates rivalry.
“The way the candidates answered questions has demonstrated to Ghanaians that with one accord we can pursue solutions to our problems with common policies,” he told TV 3 News’ Edward Balami.
“We are all Ghanaians. We have one common objective of building a country that is viable and that can sustain the development we are all trying to achieve.”
Dr. Edward Omani Boamah of the NDC underscored the presence of the incumbent president to the Debate saying President Mahama performed better than the rest in all aspects.
“President Mahama discharged himself very well at every round,” said the Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports.
“It tells you how fortunate we are as a country to have such men of valour asking us to vote for them.”