The Deputy General Secretary of the NDC Koku Anyidoho has slammed the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) over its decision to press on with a two-man presidential debate between John Mahama and Nana Akufo-Addo.
According to Anyidoho, the think-tank is practicing “civil society dictatorship” and cannot cow the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) to accept its terms. Although the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) has hinted it will organise a similar debate, the IEA said it lacks the capacity to do so.
“How can Jean Mensa [Executive Director of IEA] abuse a state institution like the NCCE and expect us to participate in the IEA’s debate when the NDC is a socialist oriented party that believes in building state institutions?
“We will rather support the NCCE to build its capacity than support the building of the so-called capacity of the IEA to continue to collapse state institutions,” Anyidoho told Accra-based Joy FM.
He was commenting on IEA’s response to its criticism for failing to consult the two main political parties before announcing its plan to organise a special debate ahead of the November 7 polls for the two leading candidates.
The NDC deputy general secretary described the comment of the IEA boss as unacceptable and unfortunate. He said the IEA cannot force the NDC into any debate because it is not a state institution, has no constitutional mandate and their “arrogance” as he put it, will not be countenanced.
In a different development, Mr. Anyidoho has told the Gazette newspaper that the IEA should rather force NPP’s Vice Presidential candidate, Dr Mahamadu Bawumia and the NPP to produce the other so-called registers the party promised to bring from Burkina, Mali, Benin and Ivory Coast to support their “false claim” about the voters’ register.
He also wants the IEA to condemn the violence in the NPP and the party’s decision to bring South African mercenaries into Ghana to train what he described as NPP hoodlums in bomb throwing.
“We refused to participate in their pro-NPP agenda in relation to the Voters’ Register issue; and we will ignore their arrogance again if we so wish. Jean Mensa and the IEA should stop trying to usurp the authority and mandate of state institutions such as the Electoral Commission and the NCCE.
“Even the EC, which has a constitutional mandate to function and is funded by the tax payer, has the presence of mind to form IPAC to build consensus. How can IEA force NDC into a debate? Is IEA practising Civil Society Dictatorship,” he asked.