The governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) has officially announced that President John Dramani Mahama will not take part in the presidential debate being organised by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA).
Deputy General Secretary of the NDC, Koku Anyidoho, said the IEA disrespected the NDC’s National Organiser Kofi Adams and party structures when the think tank by-passed them to have deliberations on the planned debate with some officials at the seat of government.
When the IEA announced its planned debate series for the candidates, Mr Adams expressed his reservations following the Institute’s refusal to engage the political parties on the programme before the announcement.
Mr Adams noted in a later interview with Class FM that the IEA was not a “headmaster” to summon the party to a debate at will.
But the Executive Director of IEA, Jean Mensa, replied Mr Adams, saying that his concerns over proper consultations were not well-informed. She said Mr Adams had not been part of the IEA’s engagement with the NDC, otherwise he would have known that announcing proposals often preceded the engagement with the parties.
“We launch our election year programme and, thereafter, we write to them and start engaging. This is how we have operated all these years,” she said.
But Mr Anyidoho regarded the comments by the IEA’s Executive Director as disrespectful of Mr Adams and the structure of the NDC, for which reason President Mahama will not be part of the debate.
“IEA cannot disrespect the National Organiser of the party, it cannot disrespect the structures of the party. Let them continue to disrespect themselves and deal with individuals, but the NDC is a very disciplined structure and nobody can disrespect us. … We will not participate in the IEA debate,” he told Citi FM on Wednesday.