General Politics

Speaker can’t declare Assin North seat vacant – Clerk tells court

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin cannot declare the Assin North Parliamentary seat vacant, the Clerk of Parliament, Cyril Nsiah has said.

This is in response to a letter dated August 31, 2021, written to Parliament and served on the clerk by a bailiff from the Law Court Complex in Accra.

But prior to receiving the Registrar’s letter, the Speaker had received certified true copies of documents from the lawyers of James Quayson, MP for the Constituency indicating that they had filed an appeal against the judgment of the High Court in Cape Coast.

In addition, an application of a stay of the said judgment by the Cape Coast High court had also been cited in the correspondence from the Lawyers.

Mr. Nsiah therefore noted: That, on the face of the certified true copies received by Mr. Speaker, the matter in question is still sub judice and has thus not been concluded by the Courts with competent jurisdiction on the matter.

He added: “That in the circumstances, Mr. Speaker is not clothed with the legal basis to make a pronouncement on the matter and can thus not declare the occurrence of a vacancy in the House pursuant to the 1992 Constitution and the Standing Orders of the House.”

Background

The Cape Coast High Court on Wednesday 28th July 2021, canceled the 2020 Parliamentary election held in the Assin North constituency which saw the opposition National Democratic Congress(NDC) candidate James Gyakye Quayson being elected as Member of Parliament.

The Court presided over by Justice Kwasi Boakye on Wednesday, July 28, 2021 ordered for a fresh election to be conducted in the constituency.

The court has also restrained James Gyakye Quayson from holding himself as the MP for Assin North constituency.

The petitioner, Michael Ankomah Nimfah, contended that Quayson held dual citizenship as a Ghanaian and a Canadian at the time of his election, and therefore must be restrained from performing the duties of a Member of Parliament.

Election petition

Mr Quayson polled 17,498 votes as against 14,793 by the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP’s) Ms Abena Durowaa Mensah, in the December 7, 2020 parliamentary election.

However, on December 30, 2020, a resident of Assin North, Mr Michael Ankomah-Nimfah, filed a parliamentary election petition at the Cape Coast High Court challenging the eligibility of Mr Quayson to be a Member of Parliament.

He contended that the MP was not eligible on the basis that at the time he (Quayson) filed his nomination to contest as a parliamentary candidate, he was still a citizen of Canada.

Source: Kasapafmonline.com

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