Court Cancels 2020 Assin North Parliamentary Election, Orders Fresh Polls

The Cape Coast High Court in the Central Region has declared the 2020 parliamentary election held in the Assin North Constituency as null and void.

The court has therefore ordered for a fresh election to be conducted in the constituency.

This ruling was given on Wednesday, July 28, 2021, by the court presided over by Justice Kwasi Boakye.

In his judgement, Justice Boakye upheld that, the National Democratic Congress’ 2020 parliamentary candidate for the constituency, Joe Gyakye Quayson breached the provisions of the constitution with regard to dual citizenship.

The ruling means that the NDC’s seats in Parliament have dropped to 136 as against the NPP’s 137 until a by-election is held to determine who wins the seat.

Background

After he was declared winner in the constituency’s election, Mr. Quayson was dragged to court by Michael Ankomah-Nimfa, a resident of Assin Bereku in the Central Region.

Mr. Akomah-Ninfa filed a petition at the Cape Coast High Court seeking to annul the declaration of Mr. James Gyakye Quayson as the Member of Parliament for the Assin North Constituency for owing allegiance to Canada.

In November last year, a group calling itself ‘Concerned Citizens of Assin North’ petitioned the Electoral Commission in the Central Region to withdraw the candidature of Mr. Quayson, arguing that he owes allegiance to Canada.

According to Article 94 (2) (a) of the 1992 constitution of Ghana, “A person shall not be qualified to be a member of Parliament if he or she – (a) owes allegiance to a country other than Ghana.”

The National Democratic Congress (NDC), had insisted that their MP is “a full citizen of Ghana who owes no allegiance whatsoever to any other country. He is a Ghanaian in law and, in fact, qualifies to be a Member of Parliament according to the laws of Ghana.”

Order Assin North parliamentary election rerun

One of Ankomah-Nimfa‘s lawyers, Henry Nana Boakye, briefing the media during an earlier hearing of the case, indicated that their request is supported by case evidence.

One of the reliefs we are seeking is for the court to order for re-election to be conducted in Assin North. We have stated our case forcefully, and we have supported it with case evidence. We have even filed our closing addresses, and we are sure that the respondents will be served. All of these are just delay antics and just to drag the matter behind.

But we are forthright and resolute that this matter will be determined, and it will be determined on the merit of the case; and based on the 1992 constitution and the relevant laws regarding the qualification of an aspirant to be a candidate or to be elected as a Member of Parliament,” he said.

Mr. Quayson took part in the election of Speaker of Parliament

There was confusion in Parliament on the eve of January 7, 2021, following a decision by the Clerk of Parliament to prevent Mr. Quayson from taking part in the election of the Speaker of Parliament.

At the time, the High Court had barred Mr. Quayson from holding himself as an MP.

But the members on the Minority side insisted that Mr. Quayson should be allowed to exercise his franchise.

After several hours of chaos in the house, he was allowed to participate in the election.

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