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Baako: NCCE-organised debate long overdue

The editor-in-chief of the New Crusading Guide, Abdul-Malik Kweku Baako, has welcomed the decision of the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) to organise a dialogue session for presidential and parliamentary aspirants of the political parties ahead of the November 7 polls.

According to him, the NCCE should have started such dialogue long ago.

The NCCE has hinted of organising a dialogue session for parliamentary candidates and flagbearers of the political parties in Ghana.

The Communications Officer for the NCCE, Joyce Afutu, said “We [NCCE] are going to engage the political parties in the form of a dialogue.”

She added that: “We have what is called the dialogue series where we look at issues that citizens will need to be educated and empowered about. As part of our activities for the year we will firstly do a parliamentary debate for all candidates in the 275 constituencies to ensure that we bring the candidates face-to-face with their electorate for them to tell them what they will do and how they are going to do it and then we will also engage with the presidential candidates to dialogue on issues they will want to know.

This decision by the NCCE attracted sharp criticism from the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), which has organised presidential debates for flagbearers of political parties in Ghana since 2000.

The Executive Director of IEA, Mrs Jean Mensah, said the NCCE did not have the expertise and experience to organise its planned dialogue session for the flagbearers and parliamentary aspirants.

But speaking on Joy FM’s Newsfile on Saturday May 14, Kweku Baako said the NCCE‘s decision is welcomed, noting that it was long overdue.

He, however, pardoned the NCCE for not organising such debates in the past because they were not resourced.

A member of the government’s communication team, Eric Ametor-Quarmyne, questioned the IEA’s modalities with regards to the debate.

He said the situation where the debate was limited to parties with representation in parliament would not help with building the smaller parties.

“They should be making efforts to grow the smaller parties in Ghana,” he suggested.

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