Young Democrats condemn segregation of IEA debate
It has therefore called on all political parties, religious bodies and civil society to speak against the attempt to marginalise some political parties in the debate.
The Young Democrats expressed the disapproval in statement read by Mr Abass M. Osabutey, the Convener at a news conference in Accra.
“Today, the Young Democrats wish to make a strong case for equality in Ghana’s political dispensation. As a group which detests the politics of exclusion and discrimination, we have the duty to impress on private and public organisations to protect our citizens’ inalienable rights, one of which is the right to equal opportunities,” the statement said.
The group said they have followed with keen interest, activities of the IEA over the years and have had several reservations and doubts over its independence.
“We are therefore not surprised by the unfortunate decision by the IEA to conduct a separate debate for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) presidential candidates, in effect excluding other political parties.”
The group said, the IEA must note that Ghana is a multi-party state and not a two-party state.
The Young Democrats said it upholds firmly to the constitutional rights that all Ghanaians deserve to to be heard.
It therefore called on the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) and other state institutions mandated for public education to conduct a more transparent and credible presidential debate, which would give equal opportunity to all presidential candidates to communicate their vision to Ghanaians.
“The NCCE must wake up from the dereliction of their civic responsibility and execute their constitutional mandate to provide fair opportunity to all political parties to present their programmes to the public.
“It is only through this platform that Ghanaians would make informed decisions at the presidential polls, which will inure to the transformational agenda of this country,” the statement said.
The NDC sympathizers brought to the attention of the IEA, Article 233 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, which mandates the NCCE to organise such programmes.
They called on the NDC to decline invitation to present President John Dramani Mahama for any organised debate, which would discriminate, marginalise other political parties and undermine the rights and civil liberties of segments of the Ghanaian society.