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Title:Presidential debates and electoral fortunes of political parties in Ghana's 2008 elections
Author:Van Gyampo, Ransford EdwardISNI
Periodical:Politikon: South African Journal of Political Studies (ISSN 0258-9346)
Geographic term:Ghana
Subjects:election campaigns
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02589341003600239
Abstract:This paper discusses the two presidential debates in Ghana, organized by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA-Ghana) in Accra and Tamale before the 2008 general elections. The debates provided an opportunity for the presidential aspirants of the four main political parties with representation in parliament to engage in a contest of ideas. Using findings of a survey of 100 respondents, representing a cross-section of the Ghanaian population, the paper argues that presidential debates have a negligible role in positively affecting the electoral fortunes of political parties and contribute little to whipping up support for their presidential aspirants, especially among the undecided voters. Their role in consolidating Ghana's democracy, particularly in ensuring dialogue and participation of the people in decisionmaking, however, remains largely positive in spite of the several flaws and challenges that characterize their conduct in Ghana. The study therefore recommends measures to ensure successful conduct of presidential debates in Ghana in a manner that fully contributes to democratic consolidation and encourages voters, especially the undecided ones, to objectively make a good decision as to which presidential aspirant or political party to vote for in future. Bibliogr., notes, sum. [Journal abstract]