The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) is surprised by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly’s (AMA) decision to ban parliamentary debates in all the thirteen constituencies within the metropolis.
The Commission which has planned a series of parliamentary debates ahead of this year’s election has seen some of the debates marred by violence and disagreements by supporters of political parties.
[contextly_sidebar id=”mu5juZPeOa1DMcbkW8hVToJW1jd4MVuH”]A recent debate in the Odododiodio constituency was marred by violence while another in Weija-Gbawe ended abruptly with concerns raised about the neutrality of the NCCE.
The AMA in a statement issued on Friday [November 11] said, “In light of the recent upheavals, METSEC has directed the immediate suspension of all parliamentary political debates being organized by the NCCE in all thirteen (13) constituency in the Accra metropolis.”
According to the NCCE, the AMA’s decision is surprising as the Commission has remained neutral and objective in all its operations ahead of the upcoming polls.
The Greater Accra Regional Chairperson of the NCCE, Lucille Hewlett Annan told Citi News that, the organization of the debates were in close collaboration with representatives of the various political parties.
She said, “We are all surprised by the letter from the AMA yesterday. For the parliamentary debates we don’t hold it in isolation, we have the inter-party dialogue committee and this debate is organized by the inter-party dialogue committee (IPDC) from the NCCE we are spearheading the inter-party dialogue committee but we sit down with the IPDC, and we all discuss the venue, the modalities and even the process of even choosing a moderator is done by the IPDC. So the holding of parliamentary debates is a teamwork between the NCCE and the various representatives in the IPDC.”
According to her, the AMA is aware of the arrangement to have the various parties including in planning for the various debates.
The NCCE has on some platforms been criticized for being towards the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) leading to some political parties boycotting some of the debates while others have staged protests for reasons that include uneven allocation of time to some political parties in the debate.
By: Jonas Nyabor/citifmonline.com/Ghana