A claim for supremacy that led to a misunderstanding, marred a scheduled political debate for parliamentary candidates at the Weija-Gbawe Constituency in the Greater Accra Region on Saturday.
The debate, which is part of a series being organised in all the 275 constituencies across the country, had to be called off after the organisers failed to agree on which of them is the main torchbearer of the event.
Before the event could start, officials of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) and that of the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) each claimed to be the main organiser of the debate.
Greater Accra Regional Director of the NCCE, Lucille Annan accused CODEO and the Center for Democratic Development (CDD) of trying to take over the debate as main organisers whereas they are the brain behind it.
Not enthused by the development, she ordered the removal of a CODEO and CDD banners which were used as the backdrop for the stage and replace it with that of the NCCE; something the CODEO executives did not take kindly to.
The situation caused misunderstanding between the three groups leading to a disruption of the debate between the candidates contesting the seat in that constituency.
After officials of CODEO and NCCE failed to reach an agreement over the matter, officials of CODEO started to pack their equipment.
Traditional leaders, invited guests and supporters of the National Democratic Congress who were shocked by the event, were left stranded for hours without any communication whatsoever from any of the three organisers.
Addressing journalists after the incident, Mr. Carbonu said the NCCE Regional Director got a different interpretation of the whole event, and accused her of wanting “to superimpose and claim ownership of the programme.
“I thought it was a collaboration and the final objective is to entrench democracy but it looks as if the regional director is not well informed about the arrangement,” Mr Carbonu said.
But Ms. Annan insisted the debate is an initiative of her outfit hence would not allow CODEO and CDD to take over the debate, noting they will have to report to the European Union which is funding the debates.
The NDC parliamentary candidate, Obuobia Darko – Opoku who was present at the time of the incident, urged them to suspend the debate and go back to resolve their differences.
The NPP parliamentary candidate for the area, Tina Mensah, was however not present.