Mahama begins IEA Evening Encounters June 21

Governance think tank, Institute for Economic Affairs, says its Evening Encounters with Presidential Candidates is a forum for the candidates to outline their vision for governing the country if they become president.

The Executive Secretary of the IEA, Mrs Jean Mensah said the Evening Encounters were introduced in 2008 to complement the Presidential Debates.

The IEA has been organizing Presidential debates since 2000 but introduced the Evening Encounters in the 2008 elections.

Mrs Mensah explained, each presidential candidate of a political party with representation in Parliament is given 30 minutes to outline their vision and programme for governing the country.

“The encounters are different from the debates in the sense that each candidate has the platform to him/herself and in 30 minutes they outline their vision for governance and development for the country. They then take questions from a cross-section of the electorate – TUC, nurses association, teachers’ association, NUGS and so on,” she said.

She said the encounters became necessary because some presidential candidates in the past articulated positions that were at variance with what was in their party manifesto.

IEA Mensa

Jean Mensah

“But this allows for ownership and creates a platform for accountability from the candidate even before they become president,” Mrs. Jean Mensah stressed.

The Presidential candidate of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Dr. Edward Mahama takes his Tuesday, June 21, 2016.

The Presidential candidate of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), Mr. Kobina Ivor Greenstreet follows next Tuesday, June 28.

The flagbearer of the largest opposition leader, Nana Akufo-Addo will be next and will take his turn on July 5, 2016.

She said discussions are ongoing to get President John Mahama, presidential candidate of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) to participate.

The NDC has not indicated its willingness to participate in the process.

National Organiser of the party, Kofi Adams earlier gave indications that the governing party would not participate in the IEA’s process this year.

Mrs Jeane Mensah said it is early days yet to rule out the NDC.  

The Evening Encounters start at 6pm at the Alisa Hotel, Ridge, Accra and will be broadcast live on Joy FM, Joy News TV and other media platforms.