President John Dramani Mahama’s willingness to participate in a presidential debate rests with what the National Democratic Congress (NDC) will decide on, an executive member of the party has said.
National Organiser Kofi Adams says NDC’s leader will only debate at any platform per the decision of the party.
This comes in the wake of an announcement by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) that its debate series towards the general elections will begin next month with that of the presidential candidates scheduled for September and October.
In an interview, Mr Adams expressed disappointment at the IEA for not consulting political parties prior to announcing its programme for the 2016 debates.
“We strongly protest the behaviour of IEA,” he stressed.
According to him, the IEA should have accorded parties especially the NDC respect since they make IEA not the other way round.
‘IEA behaving like headmaster’
The former Deputy General Secretary of the NDC said so far, no institution has approached the party over a presidential debate.
He said the IEA per its history in organising the series appears to be deceiving itself political parties will be willing to participate.
“If they feel that they can behave like headmaster, they will find it difficult to assemble the students.”
He said the IEA is not practising the ideals of a civil society organization as it is.
Mr Adams rejected suggestions that the party is shielding President Mahama from a one-on-one debate with his main contender Nana Akufo-Addo.
He argued that the president has given an excellent account of himself at gatherings aimed at convincing not only electorates but the public.
“He has addressed platforms that he gets a standing ovation,” Mr Adams observed.
The National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) is said to be lining up a similar debate not only for presidential candidates but also parliamentary aspirants.
Mr Adams says it will be hard for the NDC to snub NCCE since it is a state institution.
He indicated, however, that the NDC will “receive all these proposals and see which platform is credible”.