It is prudent to build the capacity of state institutions like the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCC) to be organising presidential and parliamentary debates in major elections than build the capacity of private institutions such as the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) to do so, Mr Koku Anyidoho, a Deputy General Secretary of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) has said.
According to him, the IEA belongs to “someone and his wife” and that they have gained support from state institutions like the NCCE, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) and others to build themselves, a situation he said should not have been the case.
The NDC has ruled out participation in this year’s edition of the IEA presidential debate. The party said that the IEA’s Executive Director disrespected the NDC’s structures by bypassing key party officials to have meetings with some government officials to discuss matters relating to the planned debate.
“No, it [the debate] is not welcoming because the organisers, IEA, cannot continue to disrespect political parties and persons that are involved. If Class FM wants to organise any debate, I don’t think you go on air and start announcing…even before you approach us. You have to approach us first and get the consent even before you go public to do anything,” the NDC’s National Organiser Kofi Adams told Class News earlier in May.
But the IEA, in spite of the NDC’s boycott, recently issued a timetable for its debate series ahead of the elections on December 7.
Speaking in an interview with Chief Jerry Forson, host of Ghana Yensom on Accra 100.5FM on Tuesday November 1, Mr Anyidoho said: “We (NDC) will not attend the IEA debate. They should not ambush us and think we will rescind the decision to take part.”
“We are rather prepared to build the capacity of state institutions in organising such debates. We should build state institutions like the NCCE, not individuals like Jean Mensah (Executive Director of IEA). IEA belongs to somebody and his wife and so we should not focus on building it for them. If the IEA has lost credibility, which has affected their source of funding, it is up to them, but we in the NDC are not taking part in their debate.”
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