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General News of Thursday, 27 February 2020

Source: Atinka Online

Mike Oquaye’s 'unwelcome guests' comment undemocratic and intimidating – UPDN


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The United Press for Development Network (UPDN) has hit back at the Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye for his comments that ‘he would not hesitate to cause the press to be unwelcome guests to the House if they [press] fail to discharge such duties to the House responsibly’.

According to the UPDN, they find the Speaker’s comments intolerant, undemocratic and unfortunate.

“United Press for Development Network (UPDN) finds comment by Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye, Speaker of Ghana’s seventh Parliament indicating that he will not hesitate to revoke Parliamentary Press Corp’s invitation is an intolerant, undemocratic and unfortunate,” it said in a statement.

The UPDN also expressed disappointment in both the Majority and Minority Leaders as well as the Speaker’s comment, demanding an apology from Parliament.

“We are extremely disappointed in both Majority and Minority Leaders and unhappy with the Speaker’s comment. We hereby request an unqualified apology from Parliament,” the UPDN stated.

The UPDN added, “The position of Right Honorable Speaker is not only intimidating but an act to gag and censor Press. The inky fraternity has enjoyed press freedom, freedom of expression and cordial relationship with the august house (Parliament) and Mr. Mike Oquaye must be counseled to consolidate the gains and successes accomplished by his predecessors but not jeopardize it.”

Below is a statement:

*PRESS STATEMENT* *Media & Parliamentary Coverage: Intolerant Speaker Oquaye’s “Unwelcome Guests” Comment… Undemocratic and Intimidating – UPDN* United Press for Development Network (UPDN) finds comment by Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye, Speaker of Ghana’s seventh Parliament indicating that he will not hesitate to revoke Parliamentary Press Corp’s invitation is an intolerant, undemocratic and unfortunate. _*We are extremely disappointed in both Majority and Minority Leaders and unhappy with the Speaker’s comment. We hereby request an unqualified apology from Parliament.*_ The position of Right Honorable Speaker is not only intimidating but an act to gag and censor Press. The inky fraternity has enjoyed press freedom, freedom of expression and cordial relationship with the august house (Parliament) and Mr. Mike Oquaye must be counseled to consolidate the gains and successes accomplished by his predecessors but not jeopardize it. We believe Parliament (Speaker) could have handled the situation much better than the amount of threats, cautions and attempt to punish the media for granting a presser whiles Parliamentary proceeding was ongoing. The Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye led Parliament House again, must know better that the media is satisfying a constitutional mandate on behalf of the people of Ghana and must be regarded. Long live Press Freedom _*……Signed…….*_ *Kofi Asante Mensah* *President* *UPDN* *0244690262*

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