General News Fri, 6 Oct 2000

Prof. Mills given the pat for boycotting forum

Mr Owusu Ankomah, an independent presidential candidate who later pulled out of the race, said Vice-President John Evans Atta Mills right in refusing to take part in the first-ever forum for presidential candidates last month.

Freedom Forum, an American foundation dedicated to free expression, organised the forum in collaboration with the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) and the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC). Mr Ankomah described Professor Mills' action as right and therefore asked the media and those who were criticising him to leave him in peace. In a statement issued in Kumasi, Mr Ankomah said the fact that Ghanaians had to sit down for a foreign organisation to organise an important forum of that nature for them was not proper. He said Ghana is an independent sovereign state capable of organising the forum without any outside interference, adding: "the election is about choosing leaders to solve the numerous problems of the nation so any outside interference would mean intrusion into Ghana's internal affairs".

Before the forum, which was under the theme "Press, Power, and Politics: The views of Ghana's Presidential Candidates", the National Democratic Congress (NDC) expressed misgivings about the nature and manner of organisation of the programme. It also explained that the multiplicity of roles of the Vice-President, including his functions as Acting President, would not afford him the time to participate in the programme.

Source: joyfm