The victory of the NDC shall not be stolen – Assin North MP fires back

Assin North MP James Gyekye Quayson is confident about his success in the 2020 parliamentary polls despite an annulment by a court.

Even though re-election has been ordered by the Cape Coast High Court over dual-citizenship, which violates electoral laws, the MP insists he won legitimately.

“Our massive victory in Assin North on December 7, 2020, was a pure and legitimate one, handed over to us by the discerning people of Assin North, and we shall resist every attempt to subvert the true will of the people.

“All my beloved constituents should be assured that I am in high spirit and confident that this momentary travesty shall rather make us emerge stronger. So, I urge you all not to be worried, neither should you be discouraged- the confirmation of our historic victory beckons.

“Take heart and be of good cheer; the victory of the NDC and all true democrats shall not be stolen,” he said in a statement on Thursday, July 29.

Mr Quayson is convinced the win delivered by his constituents in the December 7 parliamentary election remains superior.

“Not even the dark machinations of an elite few,” he said, would take that joy away from him.

The legislator was of the view that the “travesty of justice” will rather strengthen him.

He believes the records will confirm that he has always been a sincere, loyal, law-abiding and patriotic citizen who only set out in good conscience to come to serve Assin North constituents.

Mr Quayson expressed his gratitude to the chiefs and people of Assin North for the show of love and resilience.

What did the Cape Coast High Court 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.

How it all started

A private citizen and a resident of Assin Berekum, Micheal Ankomah Nimfah, filed a suit at the Cape Coast High Court challenging the qualification of Mr Quayson as the MP for the area.

The plaintiff, a mason, averred that at the time Mr Quayson filed his nomination, he was still holding onto his Canadian citizenship and failed to denounce his citizenship as required by law.

Ghana’s laws bar dual citizens from holding public offices in Ghana.

In freezing the MP’s right to be in Parliament, the judge said: “the allegation contained is of grave nature, and he could not hold himself as MP.”

Also, the NDC MP-elect did not have the renunciation certificate to present before the court to confirm that he had indeed renounced his Canadian citizenship.

Although court documents showed the MP received his certificate on November 26, at the time he filed his nomination, he did not have the requisite qualification.

NPP strategy 

On December 23, 2020, the governing New Patriotic Party sought to trigger a by-election by challenging the eligibility of James Quayson to contest in the Assin North parliamentary elections, but he won.

Legal practitioner, Gary Nimako, had asked the Ghana Immigration Service to confirm if indeed the NDC MP-elect had renounced his Canadian citizenship before the December 7 parliamentary elections.

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