A Deputy General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mustapha Gbande, says the party has already rolled out plans to contest the impending Assin North by-election and retain the seat.
Speaking to Evans Mensah on Joy FM’s Top Story, Mustapha Gbande said preparations were already in place for campaigning and other activities in the constituency right after the Supreme Court order that led to the expunging of Mr James Gyakye Quayson’s name from parliament’s records.
“We in the NDC are prepared for this election. We began our preparation even as we were in Kumawu. We will do our review meetings and we will take over Assin North. We knew that we would go into a by-election and so the party has already put processes in place,” he said.
“There was a vigil held recently, and subsequently there are other activities that will start tomorrow [May 31] to canvass and further reinforce our relationship with the constituency,” Mr Gbande added.
The Deputy General Secretary also noted that the party will not hold an internal election to elect a new candidate for the parliamentary race.
He stated that the party has decided to back Mr James Gyakye Quayson as the candidate to lead the party.
“He (Mr Quayson) is ready for the election. He has been to the constituency and you will see many more activities and his presence in the consistency. I am confident that he is going to win,” Mr Gbande said.
On their campaign, he added that “our focus is going to center on sensitising the people to understand that if you have a government that has not performed for six years, sharing GH¢100 and GH¢500 a day does not change destiny; and that clearly you are dealing with a group that is deceptive and does not follow the precedents of development and growth.”
Out of seven parliamentary elections in the Assin North Constituency since 1996, the NPP has won four, whereas the NDC has won three times.
In the 2020 parliamentary election for instance, the votes margin between the NDC and the NPP was 3,305. This was in spite of the fact that Nana Akufo-Addo won the presidential.
A by-election in Assin North has become necessary after parliament wrote to the Electoral Commission declaring the seat vacant.
This followed the Supreme Court ruling that the Electoral Commission acted unconstitutionally in allowing Mr Quayson to contest the 2020 parliamentary elections without proof of him renouncing his Canadian Citizenship.
The apex court in their ruling ordered parliament to expunge James Gyakye Quayson from its records as a Member of Parliament.
The court in a unanimous decision ruled that Mr. Quayson was not qualified at the time of filing his nomination forms.
It further held that the EC allowing him to contest when he had not shown evidence of renunciation of his citizenship of Canada is unconstitutional.
It further declared that his election was unconstitutional, null and void and of no effect. His swearing-in was equally declared to be unconstitutional
The dual citizenship case was filed by a resident of the constituency, Michael Ankomah Nimfah.
Mr Nimfah had asked the court to rule that upon a true and proper interpretation of Article 94(2)(a) of the Constitution, 1992 of Ghana, at the time Mr Quayson filed his nomination form in October 2020 to contest the 2020 parliamentary election for the Assin North Constituency, he was not qualified to contest as Member of Parliament.
This is because the constitution does not allow a person with dual nationality to hold certain public offices, including a Member of Parliament.
Mr Quayson had initially lost the case at the Cape Coast High Court in 2021.
The Cape Coast High Court had cancelled the parliamentary results for the Assin North constituency in the 2020 parliamentary election in the constituency.
The court, presided over by Justice Kwasi Boakye, ordered a new election to be conducted in the constituency.
However, Mr Quayson sought an appeal at the Supreme Court where the High court’s ruling was upheld.
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