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General News of Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Source: Class FM

IEA boycott: Mahama running away – Ed Mahama

The governing National Democratic Congress’ decision to boycott the Institute of Economic Affairs’ presidential debates is a way of running away from accounting to the people, People’s National Convention (PNC) flagbearer Dr Edward Mahama has said.

The NDC has officially announced that it is boycotting all debates and political activities planned by the IEA in connection with the November 7 polls.

Speaking on the Executive Breakfast Show (EBS) on Class 91.3FM Wednesday June 22, the five-time PNC flagbearer, who had his turn at this year’s IEA Evening Encounter on Tuesday June 21, said President Mahama was running away from accounting to the people.

“Well, he is running away from the accountability that he claims he is doing going round the whole country because in 2012 he participated, so what has changed? Now he has the record to stand before people who understand what is going on and he doesn’t want to meet me because I will tell him how he is deceiving Ghanaians… And so, the IEA encounters now, His Excellency John Dramani Mahama is running from it,” he stated.

“He is on the Accounting to the People Tour because he is telling them what he wants them to hear, that is what is the real situation and those of us who can query him about his policies in detail and expose the deception in it, he is afraid to meet us, that is the reality. If he participated in 2012, what is stopping him now? So, I am saying that the honourable thing for His Excellency John Dramani Mahama to do is to come back to the IEA debate. The incumbent is always running away because they know they have done something that they cannot defend among their peers, so they can go and deceive the gullible Ghanaians,” Mr Mahama added.

In a swift reaction, however, the NDC said President Mahama did not need the platform offered by the IEA to account to the electorate.

Deputy General Secretary of the party Koku Anyidoho, who also spoke on the EBS, said the President was already providing account of his stewardship through his tour.

“The president has been accounting to the people since they voted for him, so why should he limit himself to some space and time of two hours? How else or how much better would it be than account to the people [instead of] to sit down for somebody to ask you some obvious question that you have been answering already for four years and then just sound repetitive? That is not to downplay those political parties that will want to avail themselves of the opportunity that the IEA is affording them,” he stated.

According to Mr Anyidoho the NDC is not mandated by any law to participate in an IEA debate.

“All that we are saying is, in relation to the 2016 general elections, the NDC as a political party is unable to participate in the IEA debate. There is no constitutional requirement that says that minus an IEA debate, you can’t put up a flagbearer. If for very good reasons we have decided this year we are unable to factor them into our equation, no head must roll,” he added.

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