The Parliament of Ghana has officially communicated to the Electoral Commission (EC) regarding a vacancy that has arisen in the Assin North Constituency.
In a letter addressed to the Commission on Tuesday, May 30, the Clerk of Parliament of Ghana, Cyril Kwabena Oteng Nsiah, invoked the powers bestowed upon him by Section 3 of the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana (Amendment) Act 1996 (Act 527) to formally notify the EC about the existence of this vacancy.
The vacancy in question was necessitated by a recent judgment delivered by the Supreme Court on May 17, 2023. This judgment, under Writ No. J1/11/2022, pertained to the case of Micaheal Ankomah Nimfah vrs James Gyakye Quayson. As a consequence of this court ruling, it was directed that the name of James Gyakye Quayson, the Member of Parliament for Assin North, be expunged from the records of the Legislature.
Given these developments, the Clerk to Parliament, on behalf of the Electoral Commission of Ghana and the Attorney General, has urged the Commission to undertake the necessary actions in accordance with the law. This entails implementing the appropriate legal procedures and protocols to address the vacancy in the Assin North Constituency, as outlined by the Constitution and relevant legislation.
The Supreme Court’s ruling has necessitated the parliamentary process to remove James Gyakye Quayson’s name from the legislative records, thereby creating a vacant seat in the Assin North Constituency.
The Electoral Commission and the Attorney General are now entrusted with ensuring that the subsequent steps are taken in compliance with the legal framework to address this vacancy and uphold the integrity of the democratic process in Ghana.
On Wednesday, May 17, the highest court, unanimously, delivered a ruling that mandated the removal of Gyakye Quayson’s name from the parliamentary records.
This decision followed an application filed earlier this year by the plaintiff, Michael Ankomah Nimfah, who sought a comprehensive interpretation of Article 94(2)(a) of the 1992 Constitution.
The plaintiff invoked the original jurisdiction of the highest court, seeking a declaration that Mr. Gyakye Quayson’s election was unconstitutional.
Article 94(2)(a) of the 1992 Constitution states: “A person shall not be qualified to be a member of Parliament if he owes allegiance to a country other than Ghana.”