Assin North by-election: Cooperation will suffer in parliament – Minority

The Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu has warned that the annulment of the Assin North constituency polls will have dire consequences on parliamentary business.

“Danger begets our democracy with the development happening. But we remain unshaken and very resolved, and cooperation [with the Majority in Parliament] would suffer,” Mr Iddrisu said after the Cape Coast High Court ordered re-election over a dual citizenship case involvong the MP for Assin North, James  Gyakye Quayson.

According to Mr Iddrisu, the decision by the court was a denial of the legitimate role of Mr Quayson as the elected representative of the people of Assin North through an election that he won outright.

“The court is being used surreptitiously to tilt the balance of power and to weaken the time tested historical notion of checks and balances. Justice must not only be done but must manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done,” he claimed.

He revealed that the minority would challenge the court verdict.

“Our first is to use the same legal processes and forum, and opportunities available within the constitution. We will contest the ruling,” he said.

They want to ensure that what the National Democratic Congress (NDC) “considers a politically motivated ruling is reversed.”

On the other hand, the Majority Chief Whip, Frank Annor Dompreh, believes the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has been vindicated after warning of a possible legal consequence of the Assin North seat.

The majority has since dared the NDC to appeal the ruling if they have any basis for disapproving the court ruling.

What did the judge say?

In the judgment, the court said the MP who was dragged to court weakened his case when his renunciation certificate date showed November 26, 2020, less than two weeks to the December 7, 2020 elections.

Per court records, at the time of filing, Mr Quayson had two citizenship certificates.

He still had his Canadian citizenship when he filed for parliamentary elections between October 5 and October 9, 2020, meaning the NDC MP was not qualified when he applied to compete for the Assin North seat.

The trial judge Justice Kwasi Boakye also mentioned that it would be a scar and a blot on the country’s legal jurisprudence if the error in the December 2020 parliamentary polls is allowed to stand.

The court also said it would be a cancerous tumour in Ghana’s elections if Mr Quayson is allowed and continues to hold himself as Assin North MP.

In concluding, the judge said the MP had violated certain constitutional provisions and other statutory provisions that guide Ghana’s elections.

Also, a cost of GHC40 000 was awarded against the Assin North Member of Parliament.

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