A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) today apologised for the heckling of media workers during a joint APNU and Alliance For Change press conference yesterday at Congress Place, the headquarters of APNU member, the PNCR.
Supporters of APNU hurled derogatory remarks at reporters as they asked questions. This had also happened at a previous APNU press conference.
Today’s statement by APNU follows one by the Guyana Press Association (GPA) yesterday condemning the heckling and raising the prospect of a boycott by the media of APNU press conferences.
In its statement today, APNU said it wished to “express its apologies for the discomfort” caused during the recent press conference.
It added “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.
“The APNU endeavours to ensure a more welcoming environment at future press conferences and engagements with media workers”.
In its statement yesterday, the GPA said that it noted the “continued intimidation” of media workers who attend press conferences held by APNU at Congress Place in Sophia.
The GPA said “Media Workers have complained about the continued heckling and intimidation by supporters of the Party who are seated in the press conference held by the Party.
“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 and the Party’s last press conference held by PNC Leader, President David Granger.
“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 behavior continues”.
The heckling had come in the presence of Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, a longstanding journalist.