Bawumia challenges Mahama to live debate on economy, governance, and policies
Bawumia challenges Mahama to live debate on economy, governance, and policies
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Bawumia challenges Mahama to live debate on economy, governance, and policies

The flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, has dared former President and flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama, to a live presidential debate to explain their respective visions and policies to the people of Ghana.

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Addressing thousands of his supporters yesterday (July 10, 2024) in Bunkpurugu, North East Region, Dr. Bawumia expressed his eagerness for a debate with Mahama, though he was skeptical it would happen, accusing Mahama of "running away."

"I am looking forward to a debate with John Mahama on the economy, on the country, on governance," Dr. Bawumia said. "But I am afraid that he is running away from a debate. His people say he doesn't want to debate. I have never heard of an opposition leader who doesn't want to debate. But he knows I will expose the emptiness of his policies."

Dr. Bawumia added that Mahama and his team are unable to explain their "24-hour economy" to Ghanaians, suggesting that this was why Mahama was avoiding a debate.

"He says he has a 24-hour economy which he cannot explain. It is as empty as an empty barrel. He cannot explain it and none of his people can explain it. They say they will be exporting lions and elephants."

"When we meet mano a mano, we can debate, and the country will see where our policies lie. That is where we should go. We should give the country an opportunity to listen to us. If he chooses not to debate, I'll continue to sell my policies."

Dr. Bawumia's comments come days after the spokesperson of Mahama's campaign team dismissed calls for a pre-election debate between the NDC and NPP flagbearers.

In a post on X, Madam Joyce Bawa Mogtari said fixing the economy should take priority over election debates.

"Kindly inform Dr. Bawumia that it is his campaign tour and that he is under no obligation or compulsion to challenge anyone to a duel of a debate that he is going to lose flatly anyway," Ms. Mogtari wrote.

She claimed that President Nana Akufo-Addo "never won any of the debates from 2008" when he challenged then-President John Evans Atta Mills and John Mahama in previous elections.

Madam Mogtari further urged Dr. Bawumia to prioritize addressing Ghana's economic challenges over electoral debates.

"Ask Bawumia to fix the economy and fix the exchange rate!" the aide stated.

Her response came after the NPP campaign team spokesperson Miracle Aboagye asserted that the 2024 election is a choice between Mr. Mahama, who they say "blew his chance," and Dr. Bawumia, who they claim has proven himself as Vice President.

In a statement dated April 28, the NPP specifically challenged the NDC to a one-on-one debate between their respective flagbearers to highlight their records.

In advanced democracies, presidential debates are a part of the electoral process. 

Many, including civil society groups, have called for a debate between the two leading candidates of the election, for Ghanaians to listen to them on their policies and vision for the country. 

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