The New Patriotic Party (NPP) parliamentary aspirant for Weija-Gbawe constituency Tina Mensah and her supporters failed to turn up at a Town Hall debate for parliamentary candidates on Saturday.
The debate being organized by the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) with support from the Coalition for Domestic Elections Observers (CODEO) and the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) was providing a platform for the parliamentary aspirants to outline their vision to the constituents.
The organisers said they were “taken by surprise” following the “conspicuous absence of the main opposition party at such an “important national event.”
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) parliamentary candidate Obuobia Darko-Opoku and her teeming supporters waited for close to two hours hoping the debate will come off, but had to leave the grounds – the Presbyterian Church at Gbawe – with disappointment.
“It’s quite unfortunate it has ended up this way,” Obuobia told the media. “I’ve been here throughout and ever ready and prepared for this anywhere and any day because I believe in democracy. The people will be the best judges.”
Although the main opposition is yet to issue any official reason for the late pull out, Patrick Kumor, the campaign manager of Madam Mensah, took to Facebook and described the intended debate as “cooked.”
“Doing what’s most important, not your cooked up debate!! @Project site at Wiaboman,” Mr. Kumor posted on his Facebook wall.
“This is total disrespect to the chiefs who have gathered here,” a livid NDC supporter Agnes Momo Ashietey stated. “I’m disappointed in Tina Mensah and her people. It clearly shows she doesn’t have us at heart.”
“I’m yet to decide who to vote for and was hoping the debate could help me make a choice. Automatically, the NDC woman Obuobia has my vote. I’m touched by her calm demeanor as she waited patiently for things to work out. I’m disappointed, but at least the NDC has my vote now,” first-time voter Esther Frimpong said.
The debate was eventually called off. The NCCE regional director Lucil Annan described the development as “unfortunate.”