On May 11, NCCE disclosed on Joy News that it intends to organize a presidential dialogue between political parties.
This, the acting NCCE boss, Samuel Akuamoah argued will afford political parties the opportunity to market their messages to the electorate and in turn take questions from them.
However, the NCCE’s decision did not sit well with the IEA’s Jean Mensa who questioned the resolve and independence of the government institution on the Joy FM’s Super Morning Show on May 12.
The IEA is reputed to have initiated the phenomenon of presidential debates in the country.
“I don’t believe that the NCCE has the capacity and the experience to engage in a presidential debate”, she said.
She believed the NCCE is better off concentrating on its core mandates such as educating “Citizens on their civic responsibilities and duties” than wading in a terrain it is not capable of performing well.
Mrs. Mensa argued, “It’s a big challenge and a mandate that they have before them and ahead of them particularly in this election year”.
Drawing on outside comparison, IEA’s Mensa said the body that organizes the presidential debate in the United States “Is an independent body and nothing stops an independent body from organizing a debate”.
She was convinced the IEA’s works over the years in the country are enough to stand in its defense.
“Since 2000 we have built our credibility, we have an independent and objective platform and I don’t believe anybody can question that”, she boasted.
“Over the years, we try to improve on our work”, she concluded.
Meanwhile the presidential hopeful of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Papa Kwesi Nduom has criticized the Institute for what he described as a “selective presidential debate”.
The IEA’s plan to hold a special debate solely for the two leading political parties in the country courted the displeasure of PPP’s Nduom who claimed the Institute’s new plan flies in the face of the political party’s law which kicks against all forms of discrimination.
He charged the Institute to create an equal playing field for all the political parties to engage the “imagination of Ghanaians”.