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Politics of Thursday, 27 February 2020

Source: Starr FM

Speaker’s threat to parliamentary press wrong – Essilfie-Conduah


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Journalism Professor Nana Essilfie-Conduah says the Speaker of Parliament erred with his threat to withdraw the accreditation for journalists in Parliament for failing to cover a debate in the House.

Journalists in the House on Tuesday stepped out of the chamber following the decision by the Minority to abstain from the debate on the address in line with their earlier walkout.

The media, however, returned after interviews with the NDC MPs regarding their decision to abstain from the debate. But Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu today took an issue with the action of the media with a reminder that their allegiance is to parliament and not individual MPs.

The Speaker in response said: “It is forbidden. 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attaches to the MP profession, any such humiliation will make you an unwelcome guest and your welcome will be duly withdrawn.”

Reacting to the development, Professor Essilfie-Conduah who is head of the school of journalism at the AUCC told Starr News the speaker overshot his boundaries.

“for a blanket threat, would seem he is being partisan but he must remember that every one of them there is at the behest of the country and whether you have the power or the prerogative to, I do not think it is right for him to issue that threat and to carry through that threat. In fact, issuing that kind of threat is a worry and we don’t do things that way”.

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