National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has said it still intends to organise a presidential debate ahead of the 2016 general elections.
The Deputy Chair of the NCCE, Samuel Akuamuah, explained on Eyewitness News that the only thing holding back the NCCE’s planned presidential debate is the controversy surrounding the Electoral Commission’s (EC) disqualification of 13 presidential candidates.
These disqualifications have culminated in three lawsuits against the EC.
As a result, Mr. Akuamoah indicated it cannot move ahead with its plans until the lawsuits are settled, and the EC is settled on the number of presidential candidates ahead of the polls.
“We are going to engage the candidates, but until we are certain of the timetable and the candidates involved, we cannot roll it out,” he explained.
“We will hold it, but it depends on the timetable of the Electoral Commission. When the Electoral Commission is settled on the number of candidates it has shortlisted finally and put on the ballot paper for the elections, then we can go ahead and do out debates.”
Till then, Mr. Akuamoah insisted that the NCCE “cannot do the debate among candidates when others are contesting that they have been excluded, when we have stated from the onset at awe are going to make it inclusive.”
But he assured that the NCCE was still on course to hold presidential debates saying, “we have it on our plan, and we are going to do it. If the plan is not ready to roll out, why do we discuss it in the public domain… we have planned, we are prepared to hold this presidential dialogue.”
Lawsuits against the EC
Following the disqualification of the 13 presidential aspirants for anomalies in their registration forms, three of the associated parties have resorted to the law courts to fight against the perceived illegal disqualifications.
The Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom-led Progressive People’s Party filed a lawsuit seeking an order of prohibition to restrain the EC from proceeding with balloting for positions of presidential candidates for the 7th December elections.
The disqualified presidential nominee of the Great Consolidated Popular Party, Dr. Henry Herbert Lartey also filed an injunction suit seeking to stop all electoral processes ahead of the December elections.
The Flagbearer of the National Democratic Party (NDP), Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings also sued the EC for disqualifying her from the December 7 general elections, adding the Attorney General to the lawsuit which is seeking an interlocutory injunction, prohibiting and retraining the Commission and its agents from going ahead with the balloting of presidential candidate until the court settles the matter.