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Ablakwa: I Did Not Prescribe Punishment For Parliamentary Press Corp After Abandoning Majority   
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Hon Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa
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The Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu constituency, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has categorically denied proposing a punishment for the Parliamentary Press Corp for abandoning the Chamber for the hearing of the ‘True State of the Nation Address’ by the Minority.

“It was not fair for the media to have deserted us, so that is why I raised the issue, I wasn’t calling for punishment,” he told Peacefmonline.com’s Prince Obimpeh in an interview.

According to the former Deputy Information Minister, he was of the view that it was not fair for the majority side who were debating the State of the Nation Address, carrying out a constitutional duty according to article 67, to be abandoned by the entire Parliamentary Press Corp and focus on the Minority’s so called State of the Nation address, which could be described as unconstitutional or illegal.

News went rife on Wednesday that, the Hon. MP for North Tongu had drawn the attention of the Right Honorable Doe Adjaho, the Speaker of Parliament, to the empty seats of the Parliamentary Press Corp while debating the President's State of the Nation Address.

This angered the NDC MP, who is alleged to have put forward a set of punishment for the Press Corp.

In an interview with Peacefmonline.com, Hon. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa expressed dismay at the distortion of the story and reiterated that he did not call the Speaker to punish the Parliamentary Press but only drew his attention and stated that it was not fair for the whole press to be out of the chamber at that time.

“..I thought that at best what the media could have done was to have had some people there (at Minority’s true state of the Nation address) and have some people at our side, because I was pointing to all the TV cameras; not even one was there”.

According to the former Information Minister, he pointed this out to the Speaker because; “this was happening at a time that he (the Speaker) was reading two important letters”.

“..You know, the two NPP MPs who had indicated that they wanted to ask the Road and Highways Minister questions; they had written to Mr. Speaker that they were withdrawing those questions.

“And I said in my submission that, these are very important national matters which the public would want to know how it spans out...it is generating a lot of debate in the public. Ghanaians know that NPP MPs are ready to ask questions then now they have withdrawn the questions so the Ghanaian public would be left out because the media is not there, they were at the Minority’s Press conference,” he added.
Source: Prince Obimpeh/Peacefmonline.com/Ghana

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