General News of Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Source: XYZ

I am not desperate to debate on IEA's platform - Ayariga

The rift between the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) and the People’s National Convention (PNC) presidential candidate seems to be deepening.

Hassan Ayariga pulled out of the debate originally scheduled for Tuesday evening to mourn the late Vice President and also receive medical treatment.

The IEA later rescheduled the debate to Wednesday in consultation with the participating political parties excluding Mr Ayariga’s PNC.

The institute says it is saddened by comments reportedly made by Mr. Ayariga that he does not need the platform to sell his policies.

But Hassan Ayariga has called the bluff of the institute to exclude him from the debate.

Speaking to XYZ News, Mr. Ayariga said IEA should have contacted him to find out if it was possible for him to still participate.

He said “the IEA has to really contact me to find out if I really want to partake. They should not go to NPP or CPP or NDC. I was the one who said no, so they should rather contact me.”

He insisted that whether or not he is included in Wednesday’s debate, he will not contact the IEA, saying “the IEA needs my services. Not [the other way round]. They need me, they don’t pay me for coming to debate.”

Mr. Ayariga indicated that he spends his own resources to attend the IEA debate and that no one can denigrate him for either participating or not, adding “I am not desperate to go on the IEA platform and debate.”