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General News of Thursday, 28 June 2018

Source: citinewsroom.com

Speaker ‘gags’ Ablakwa from commenting on migrants crisis

The Speaker of Parliament, Prof Mike Oquaye, has directed that Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa forfeits all opportunity on the floor of parliament to make comments on the latest twist to the migrants crisis in Europe.

According to the Speaker, this has become necessary due to the North Tongu MP’s decision to write a news article in the Daily Graphic, criticizing government’s handling of issues involving some 29 Ghanaians caught up in a refugee camp in Spain.

Mr. Ablakwa, who’s the Ranking Member on the Foreign Affairs Committee came back recently from Spain on a fact-finding mission, and put together his observations in the said article.

Delivering a ruling after a statement from the Foreign Affairs Ministry on the situation with Ghanaians in Spain, the Speaker said the North Tongu MP’s conduct was unacceptable.

“When he [Ablakwa] had the chance, he did not go to Ahenfie [Parliament]..Any member who intends to bring a matter before the House, must come to the House and not turn it into a gallery of media play and that is my ruling,” the Speaker said, as he declined a comment from Ablakwa.

Speaker‘s posture unlawful

The North Tongu MP says the Speaker’s attitude towards him is unlawful, and a calculated attempt to gag members of the Minority

“Today is a very sad day for parliamentary democracy… This is a parliamentary democracy. We are a republic, not a monarchy. He is the Speaker of Parliament, not the monarch of Parliament. What Speaker did is simply gagging Members of Parliament.”

“The Speaker is suggesting that upon my return from Valencia, Spain, I should not speak to the media but begin a national debate which will be continued in Parliament and that is why he could not state anywhere in our standing orders that says that if you are coming to make a statement in Parliament you cannot speak to the media. What Oquaye did today is alien to our rules.”