The ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) says contrary to media report, it is unaware of any impending Presidential debate ahead of the 2020 Presidential Election.
Last week, there was media report claiming that the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) was scheduled to organize three Presidential debates ahead of December 2020 polls.
The NCCE was reported to have made the disclosure through the Commission’s Director of Public Affairs, Joyce Afutu, during a media interaction.
But the NPP in a statement signed by its General Secretary, John Boadu, said “the party, having taken notice of this publication, wishes to respond by, first of all, stating emphatically and for the records that the NPP is completely unaware of the claims by the NCCE, and therefore cannot be said to be a party to any such arrangements.”
It said the NCCE has, at no point, engaged the NPP and its leadership in any conversation regarding the Commission’s intention to organize any debates involving the party’s presidential candidate in the buildup to election 2020.
The NPP has also not made any solicitation to the NCCE to this effect, it said.
President Nana Akufo-Addo and ex-President John Mahama are the lead contenders for the 2020 polls.
The two participated in the Presidential debate organized by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) ahead of the elections in 2012.
However, the debate could not be held in 2016 as the then ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) ‘boycotted’ it.
Meanwhile, the NPP in its statement said it was surprising and mindboggling that the NCCE, not having had any prior engagements with the party on the matter, would go ahead to announce to the world that it had scheduled to hold three presidential debates in the months of September, October, and December among all the presidential candidates.
“Beyond the fact that the NCCE’s action is in clear breach of courtesy and standard practice, the Commission also has absolutely no inkling of the NPP’s calendar of activities for the party’s 2020 electioneering campaign,” it said.
In the light of the foregoing, the NPP categorically dissociates itself from the purported ‘presidential debates schedules’ unilaterally announced by the NCCE, and appeals to the Commission not to include the NPP in these arrangements unless and until the party so permits, according to the statement.