The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), has said the withdrawal of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC), from the 2016 Presidential debates, will not reduce the quality and relevance of the event in any way.
Following the announcement of the IEA’s calendar for its Presidential debates, the NDC has been on a warpath with the think tank, accusing it of disrespecting them.
The party’s officials have subsequently indicated the party’s resolve not to participate in this year’s debates. Speaking to journalists at the inauguration of the Presidential Debates Committee however, a Senior Fellow at the IEA, Professor Atsu Aryee, said although the Institute would be glad to have the governing party participate in the debates, their absence will not take away the steam from the event.
“Even though we would have liked the sitting government to be part of the debate, and that is why we are still engaging the party, if they decide to opt out we will still go ahead and have our debates, and I don’t think it will take away the luster or the quality of the debates.”
“Remember that the debates will be done by personalities and each of the personalities has his own style and approach to dealing with issues. So we do not anticipate anything about undermining the quality of the debates in case the NDC which is a sitting government doesn’t show up,” he added.
Mahama won’t participate in IEA debate The Deputy General Secretary of the NDC had categorically stated that President John Dramani Mahama will not take part in the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) presidential debate. Mr. Anyidoho said the party will not allow the IEA to disrespect the NDC.
“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.” IEA inaugurates Presidential Debate Committee The IEA has inaugurated a 10-member Presidential Debate Committee (PDC) under the chairmanship of former first Vice President of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Prof Akua Kuenyehia, to organize two presidential debates and another debate for running mates ahead of the November polls.
Inaugurating the committee, a senior fellow at the IEA, Prof Atsu Ayee, indicated that the committee would be responsible for the overall conduct of the debates, including moderator and question selection