Mahama Ayariga, a member of the constitutional, legal and parliamentary affairs committee of Parliament has said that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) will win the Assin North seat again if there should be a by-election.
“Of course, I mean anytime that there’s finality and we’re given an indication that we have to put up a candidate, the party will put up a candidate. And we are very confident that we’ll win that seat again. So, I don’t think it is an issue that we are worried about as a Minority,” the Bawku Central MP spoke to Asaase Radio’s Beatrice Adu.
The Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday (13 April 2022) that James Gyakye Quayson cannot hold himself as the Member of Parliament for Assin North in the Central Region.
The seven-member panel presided over by Justice Jones Dotse reached a 5:2 majority decision to injunct Quayson, whose position as an MP has been in dispute since he assumed his seat in January 2021, from going to Parliament.
We’re not happy
Ayariga said that the Minority is not pleased with the outcome of the Supreme Court’s decision because it reduces their numbers and advantage in Parliament.
“We are not happy because one of our colleagues is being asked not to hold himself out as a Member of Parliament, that reduces our number and we naturally are not happy. For the Minority, the reduction in the number is the main thing and I think that we have been able to block a number of things using our number.
“If you recall, since the ruling against him at the High Court and the processes in the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court, he could not participate in the consideration of the E-Levy and that reduces our number and forced us to stage a walkout instead. So, clearly, it has implications for the Minority by reducing our number by one,” Ayariga said on The Big Bulletin on Monday (13 April).
Quayson not to hold himself as MP
Justices Jones Dotse, Mariama Owusu, Gertrude Torkornoo, Henrietta Mensah-Bonsu and Yonny Kulendi were the five Supreme Court judges who granted the injunction application, while Justices Agnes Dordzie and Nene Amegatcher dissented.
“The MP is restrained from holding himself as MP for Assin North and restrained from attending Parliament to conduct business on behalf of Assin North,” the presiding judge ruled.
Question of allegiance
Quayson, in spite of a high court judgment that declared his election as an MP in the 2020 parliamentary election unconstitutional, continued to hold himself as a Member of Parliament and was seen attending sittings of the House and carrying out his parliamentary duties.
Displeased with his actions, the petitioner in the high court action, Michael Ankomah-Nimfah, filed an application at the Supreme Court seeking an order to injunct Quayson. He also sought an interpretation of Article 94 (2a) of the 1992 constitution of the republic, which states that “a person shall not be qualified to be a member of Parliament if he – (a) owes allegiance to a country other than Ghana”.
The injunction order of the Supreme Court will remain in force until the final determination of the application seeking interpretation of Article 94 (2a).
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