Congolese presidential aspirant Dave Mafoula has called on his rivals for the upcoming March elections to hold a political debate.
Mafoula, the youngest of seven presidential candidates, said that the presidential debate should be held in the beginning of campaigns with all the candidates. The aspirants are outgoing president Denis Sassou Nguesso who is representing the PCT, Mathias Dzon of ARD, Joseph Kignoumbi Kia Mboungou of La Chaîne, Guy Brice Parfait Kolélas of UDH-Yuki, Anguios Nganguia Engambe of PAR-Mâ and Albert Oniangue an independent. With campaigns slated to kick off on March 5, the 38 year old believes this would be a good opportunity for all the aspirants to lay bare their manifestos.
« We must confront our visions, we must not deprive ourselves of the democratic exercise which is the political debate. Each of us has a project to propose to Congolese. So, I invite all candidates to the debate. I want the debate. » said Mafoula.
If all candidates are on board it will be the first ever presidential debate held in the Central African region. Presidential debates are viewed as providing an important public good by revealing information on candidates to voters.
Mafoula, a political advisor aims at transforming the oil rich nation in order to restore its economic and social equilibrium. Mafoula, whose campaign pledge is dubbed « Presidential Contract » first announced his candidacy in July 2020 stating that it was high time for him to take responsibilities as a politician and give back to his country.
Meanwhile, recent studies have shown that debates can help voters get the information they need. In the last decade several African countries have entered the bandwagon of holding debates. Nevertheless, political analysts have noted that in contrast to the party campaigns, the presidential debates do not have a lot of sway on voters.