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General News
Don''t report that Parliament wasn''t patronized - Majority Leader 1/31/2007
Accra, Jan. 30, GNA - Mr Felix Owusu-Adajpong, Majority Leader advised the media on Tuesday when Parliament resumed after the Christmas break to be circumspect in their report on members'' attendance in the Chamber.

"Do not report that Parliament was not patronized. The job of a parliamentarian is not only sitting on the floor of the House," Mr Owusu-Adjapong said.

Mr Owusu-Adjapong said this at a press briefing, which was facilitated by the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) to outline the business of the House at the First Sitting of the First Meeting of the Third Session of the Fourth Parliament of the Fourth Republic of Ghana after the Christmas break on Tuesday. The Majority Leader said a quarter of the functions of Parliament were created by the parliamentary committees.

He said some members, who would not be on the floor of the House might be attending committee meetings or attending to matters in their constituencies.

Mr Owusu-Adjapong bemoaned the lack of facilities for research for the Legislators, explaining that Parliamentarians were expected to know what was happening in their co nstituencies, outside their constituencies and the rest of the world.

He urged the Parliamentary Press Corps to constantly interact with the Members and to seek explanations on issues before their publication. Mr Alban Bagbin, the Minority Leader said the media should put across the actual picture of parliamentary business in their reportage for their public to appreciate the work of a Parliamentarian. "This depends on how we communicate; that there is no gap between Parliament and the media," Mr Bagbin said.

The Minority Leader appealed to Editors to maintain their parliamentary correspondent for them to get a firm grasp on Parliament and its procedures to better inform the public.

He said in some advanced democracies, the maintenance of Parliamentary Correspondents for a long period has enabled them to become consultants and advisers to Parliament thereby enhancing democracy.

Mr Bagbin said it was a serious matter where MPs were asked to use their salaries to administer their work unlike other advanced democracies.

He said there were no facilities for the type of parliamentary democracy in Ghana, which put a lot of emphasis on outreach, adding that most of the salaries of the MPs'' was sapped by social gatherings as festivals, outdoorings, church activities and funerals where the MP was invited and was expected to donate.

The Minority Leader, who had earlier raised an issue on the health of Members in an opening remark, said pressure from attending social functions affected the health of the MP as well as put a drain on his salary.

Mr Haruna Iddrisu, NDC-Tamale South, who coordinated the press briefing said he was hopeful that a good reportage would generate public interest in the activities of the House. He noted that most journalists did not sit through at the consideration stages of bills to know the details of the bill, which reflected in their reportage and appealed to the Press Corps not to abandon that stage to enable them to better inform the public. 30 Jan. 07Source:

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