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Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Speaker to punish journalists who ‘abandon’ sittings to cover pressers

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The Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Oquaye, has threatened to punish members of the parliamentary press corps who abandon parliamentary sessions to cover press conference within the precincts of the legislature.

The Speaker’s decision comes on the back of a complaint from the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu to the effect that journalists abandoned proceedings in the house and gave audience to the Member of Parliament for Ellembele, Emmanuel Armah Buah, who addressed the media on the energy sector vis-à-vis the State of the Nation Address delivered by President Akufo-Addo, an address the minority boycotted.

Delivering his ruling on Wednesday, 26 February 2020, the Speaker indicated that he would not hesitate to declare journalists as strangers to Parliament if due coverage is not given to the proceedings of plenary.

“It is forbidden”, he said, adding: “If they have any doubt to abandon the permission given them to cover proceedings in this House and go outside the Chamber itself and do some other work…I want to let the media know”.

“If that which is reported to have happened should happen again, I have reminded you of the fact that you are here as guests by my permission. Because of the importance this House attaches to the MP profession, any such humiliation will make you an unwelcome guest and your welcome will be duly withdrawn.”

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