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Mills Is Not Running Away From Debate...Platform Is Just Not Big Enough - NDC   
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Audio Attachment:Listen to Richard Quashigah in an interview with Kwami Sefa-Kayi on Peace Fm's "kokrokoo" programme.

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The governing party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), has expatiated on its decision to boycott the 2012 presidential debate being organized by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA).

The NDC maintains it is not shying away from a potential showdown or debate with any of the other political parties, but simply because, the party is of the firm belief that a day’s platform being offered by the IEA to reach out to the general public.

The IEA, as part of its commitment to strengthening the pillars of the country’s democracy, ensuring free, fair, peaceful and transparent election process, put up this pre-election debate series between the major political parties ahead of the December polls.

The 2012 Election Debate Series consists of three Presidential Debates, four evening encounters with presidential aspirants, and one Vice Presidential Debate.

It has an 11-Member Committee chaired by Reverend Dr Mensa Otabil, General Overseer of International Central Gospel Church.

But the ruling party, on Tuesday, indicated its desire not to participate in the debate.

The NDC further stated that its Vice Presidential Candidate, John Dramani Mahama, will also not take part in the encounter.

In an interview on the Citi Eye Witness News, National Propaganda Secretary of the ruling party, Richard Quashigah, said the NDC would want to "uphold the convention" of no sitting president or vice president in the 4th Republic ever participating in these debates.

Richard Quashigah
Besides, he added, the IEA platform is not wide enough for the NDC to send its message across, adding that the party has more appropriate channels to do so.

“Sitting president’s don’t participate in those debate so they will maintain it as such…That forum is not necessarily one that can get our message across most effectively…we don’t see it as the most effective way of reaching the Ghanaian electorate and we think that we have a superior strategy to persuade them (electorates) to renew the mandate for President Mills…,”he said.

Richard Quashigah also downplayed the suggestion that President Mills was running away from a mouth-watering showdown with the other presidential hopefuls.

“It is not an issue of sitting presidents always running away from such debates…I don’t think those platforms assume the posture of holding sitting presidents accountable to the electorates…if it is an issue of accountability the ordinary Ghanaian can do that. All we are saying is that the president and the vice president will not be part of any such debate…” he reiterated.
Source: Rebecca Addo-Tetteh/Peacefmonline.com/Ghana

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