Assin North By-Election: Decision to present Gyakye Quayson calculated risk – NDC

The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has asserted that its decision to present James Gyakye Quayson for the Assin North constituency by-election is a calculated risk.

According to the Director of Legal Affairs of the party, Abraham Amaliba, although the party is aware that the former Member of Parliament (MP) is facing some criminal charges in court, that would not stop the party from putting him up for the by-election because there is the possibility that he will be acquitted and discharged.

Supreme Court decision
Mr Quayson’s election as MP for Assin North was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court on May 17, and the court consequently ordered that his name be expunged from the records of Parliament.

Consequently, Parliament wrote to the Electoral Commission (EC) declaring a vacancy in the legislature, based on which the EC had fixed June 27 for a by-election in the constituency.

Mr Quayson has already announced his decision to contest in the by-election on the ticket of the NDC.

No barrier
Speaking on Top Story on Joy News on Thursday, June 1, 2023, Mr Amaliba said until and unless Mr Quayson is convicted and sentenced, nothing bars him from contesting the by-election. When his attention was brought to the fact that Mr Quayson faces the same risk upon which he lost the case at the Supreme Court, he queried, “So is there the possibility of him being acquitted and discharged? “

“If the answer is yes then it is a calculated risk. But for now, the law allows him to contest. “If you’re talking about whether or not the law court will sentence him, then I’m also telling you that the law court can also acquit and discharge him,” he stated.

Criminal case
Mr Amaliba said the case at the Supreme Court was a civil matter, which is different in nature from the criminal case.

“Don’t forget that this is not like the Supreme Court case which was a civil matter. In the criminal case, the prosecution has to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt and they have to show that he had a criminal intention to do what they are saying he did.

“So the standard there is high for the prosecution to clear and it’s not going to be as easy as that.”
Mr Abraham Amaliba, who has been involved in the criminal case said, currently the case is in the “embryonic stage “.

“The last time I was informed, the prosecution witness was not available. The candidate feels that he was given a raw deal at the Supreme Court and he thinks that re-electing him will bring about justice to the people of Assin North who elected him in 2020.”

Quayson statement
In a statement, Mr Quayson insisted that he duly renounced his Canadian citizenship prior to contesting the 2020 election.

“The most important thing to me right now is to contest and win the by-election. I am determined to continue serving the good people of the Assin North with all my heart, soul, body and all the resources I can muster for the benefit of my constituents,” he stated.

In November 2020, a group called ‘Concerned Citizens of Assin North petitioned the Electoral Commission in the Central Region to withdraw the candidature of Mr Quayson in the parliamentary election arguing that he owes allegiance to Canada.

A teacher and resident of Yamoransa in the Central Region, Michael Ankomah- Nimfah subsequently filed a petition at the Cape Coast High Court after the election seeking to annul the declaration of Mr Quayson as the MP Assin North.

The Cape Coast High Court upheld Mr Ankomah-Nimfah’s request and declared the 2020 parliamentary election held in the Assin North Constituency as null and void because Mr Quayson breached the provisions of the constitution with regard to dual citizenship.

The Supreme Court on May 17 upheld the ruling of the High Court and directed Parliament to expunge his name from its records.




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