Professor Wayo Seini, a Political Science lecturer, on Monday called on the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), organizers of Election 2008 Presidential Debate, to limit participation to only flag bearers of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).
"The multitude of flag bearers tabled to participate in the presidential debate makes it a stage for comical performance instead of a platform for academic discourse," Prof.
Seini told the Ghana News Agency in an interview in Accra.
He said: "In Ghana, elections over the past 16 years have established the NPP and the NDC as the dominant political parties; we must therefore concentrate on these two for meaningful impact.
Seini, former Vice Chairman of the NPP and NDC MP for Tamale Central, said IEA should use the presidential debate for the two front-runners - NDC's Professor John Evans Atta Mills and NPP's Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo - to face each other without any distraction.
Meanwhile, His Eminence Peter Cardinal Appiah Turkson, Chairman of the Presidential Debate Committee (PDC), has said the flag bearers of NPP, NDC, People's National Convention and the Convention People's Party (CPP) have confirmed their participation in the two presidential debates fixed for October 15 and November 12.
Tamale would host the northern sector debate while Accra hosts that of the southern sector.
Cardinal Appiah Turkson said the IEA had received questions from various organisations such as the Trades Unions Congress, Ghana Medical Association, Ghana Employers' Association, Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition, Ghana National Traders and Dressmakers Association.
Other institutions are Ghana National Association of Teachers, Ghana Registered Nurses Association, Women in Law and Development in Africa, National Union of Ghana Students, National Association of Local Authorities, Ghana Bar Association and Ghana Federation of the Disabled.
The rest are the Association of Ghana Industries, ActionAid, Private Enterprises Foundation, Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Ghana Hairdressers and Beauticians Association.
On preparation for the debate, Cardinal Appiah Turkson said IEA in collaboration with its partners is working on technical, logistics and security arrangements to ensure an incident-free debate.
According to organizers of the debate each of the four flag bearers would answer the same questions from professional bodies and other interested groups.
Then after the first round of questions, each flag bearer would have the opportunity of answering new questions.
Each flag bearer would be given three minutes to introduce himself and to outline what he stands for, two minutes to answer questions, and five minutes to make closing statements.
The questions would be arranged thematically in the different areas of the economy, governance, social and general issues.
To avoid needless controversy and perceptions of bias, all the four aspirants would be on the same platform to answer questions from two moderators and would be given an opportunity to critique one another's policies.
Other conditions include a ballot for the seating arrangement and answering of questions, Flag bearers are to arrive 30 minutes before the commencement time, and no substitute would be allowed to speak or make presentation on behalf of a flag bearer.
According to the IEA, each flag bearer would be given 15 invitation cards, which would include security details and attendance to both debates would be strictly by invitation.
The invited guests would include representatives of various associations, senior statesmen and women, members of the business community, senior media personnel, development partners, academia and students.
The Election 2008 Presidential Debate is managed by an 11-member team headed by Cardinal Appiah Turkson.
Other members are Odeneho Gyapong Ababio II, President of the National House of Chiefs; Shiekh O.
Sharabutu, National Chief Imam and Maulvi Waham Adam, Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslin Mission in Ghana.
The other members are Mrs Doris Acheampong, Greater Accra Regional Director of the National Commission of Civic Education; Dr Rose Mensa-Kutin, Convenor of Network for Women's Rights in Ghana; Mrs Jean Mensa, IEA Administrator; Mr Kofi Owusu, Director of Programmes, Joy FM and Mr Ransford Tetteh, President of the Ghana Journalists Association.
The rest are, Mr William Ampem Darko, Director General of Ghana Broadcasting Corporation and Dr Yaw Baah, Director of Research Trades Union Congress.