A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) says it notes the Guyana Press Association (GPA) press statement on “heckling” of media workers at its press conference held on Friday and expresses “its apologies for the discomfort caused during the recent press conference.”
In a statement of their own the APNU said that “as a political partnership and coalition partner of the government, the APNU does not condone nor endorse any conduct that serves to intimidate and hinder duties of media workers. In fact, the APNU values media workers role in building our democracy.”
However, the APNU said that it will endeavour to “ensure a more welcoming environment at future press conferences and engagements with media worker.”
APNU’s statement comes after the GPA would have called out the administration for ‘condoning’ disrespect meted out to its (GPA) members.
At a press conference hosted by leading members of the Coalition partners at Congress Place, Sophia, a number of supporters of the APNU/AFC who were also present at the event, made fun of questions being asked by reporters.
This behaviour was somewhat condoned by the leaders who refused to intervene to stop the Coalition supporters from heckling media workers.
Members of the media were boldly asked by the supporters there “what stupid questions are you asking” and in some cases were even asked if those were questions, while the Coalition leaders sat quietly.
The GPA in a statement said, “We can only assume that this behaviour is a feature endorsed by the Party and its leaders since it happened during today’s event with PNC Chairperson Volda Lawrence and senior APNU members”.
“The GPA would like to remind all political parties that media workers have the right to conduct their duties without fear of intimidation and we would not hesitate to call on our workers and media houses to boycott press events if this unacceptable behaviour continues,” their statement added.
Notably absent from the statement issued by APNU was AFC, even though the press conference held on Friday was chaired by members of both parties and similarly had supporters of each present.