The debate, organised in collaboration with the Ghana News Agency, supported by the European Union ( EU), was to enable the parliamentary candidates to outline their plans and programmes for the electorate to make informed choices in the elections.
The debate centred on Education, Health, Employment, Agriculture and Disability rights, are key areas of concern to voters in the Constituency, according to a research by the NCCE’s “Matters of concern to the Ghanaian voter”.
The four aspiring candidates, Mr John Sterling of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Dr. Nana Ato Arthur of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Samuel Atta-Mills of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), and Mrs Rose Austin Tenadu of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) participated in the debate.
They outlined key initiatives that would be employed by their respective parties in the various sectors to ensure that the Constituency enjoy massive development to a cross-section of the public, which attended the debate.
Dr. Arthur, the incumbent Member of Parliament for the area, answering questions on Education, said his outfit had offered scholarships to more than 600 needy but brilliant students and assisted many final year JHS students to register for the BECE.
He said the NPP would restore teacher-trainee allowance, remove the embargo on employment, and partner with the private sector to make the “One district; One Factory” promise feasible to create jobs for the teeming unemployed youth.
Dr Arthur said the NPP would revive the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and make it work more effective and pledged to upgrade the Elmina Urban Health Centre into Municipal Hospital.
Mrs Austin Tenadu of the CPP, when asked about the plans of her Party to help the disabled in the society, said the party would increase the Disability Common Fund from the current 2.5 per cent to five per cent and ensure its constant disbursement.
She said a CPP Government would train the youth in employable skills to enable them to acquire jobs to make them economically independent, while it subsidised materials used by artisans and also provided teachers with accommodation.
Mr Sterling, for his part, said the PPP would make education free and compulsory from kindergarten to the senior high school level and ensure the full implementation of the Free Compulsory Basic Education programme (FCUBE).
He said it was only the PPP, which had the ability to create jobs for Ghanaians citing the numerous businesses of the flag-bearer, Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom.
He outlined some interventions to assist persons with disabilities and artisans in the Constituency when voted for as the Member of Parliament.
Mr Atta-Mills enumerated a number of interventions put in place by the NDC Government in the areas of Education, Health and Youth Employment; and asked the electorate to vote for him and the NDC to continue with them.
He said the Constituency had seen massive transformation with the provision of school infrastructure to enhance education, the establishment of the Komenda Sugar Factory and the Elmina Fish Processing Factory.
Mr Samuel Asare Akuamoah, a Deputy Chairman of the NCCE, commended the electorate in the area for comporting themselves during the debates and asked them to vote well to reduce the number of rejected ballots in the Constituency.
He said the NCCE did not work for any political party but worked in the interest of the country.
After the debate, the four candidates took turns to advise the electorate to comport themselves on the election day for peace to continue to prevail after the polls.