Executive Director for Africa Centre for Parliamentary Affairs (ACEPA), Dr Rasheed Dramani has said the removal of the Fomena MP by the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) does not violate any law regarding the conduct of parliamentarians.
His comment comes after the NPP officially wrote to Parliament asking speaker to declare treh Fomena seat in the Ashanti Region vacant.
NPP MP for the area, Andrew Amankwah Asiamah had filed his nomination to contest this year’s election as an independent candidate.
According to the party, the incumbent MP has forfeited his membership by his action and that is enough grounds to withdraw him from the House pursuant to Article 97(1)(g) of the 1992 Constitution.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Article 97(1)(g) of the Constitution states that: A member of Parliament shall vacate his seat in Parliament if he leaves the party of which he was a member at the time of his election to Parliament to join another party or seeks to remain in Parliament as an independent member,” the NPP said in a statement.
There has also been concern from some quarters about the timing of the party’s decision describing it as a bad precedence.
But Dr Dramani disagrees with that school of thought.
According to him, the development is in tandem with constitutional provisions.
He added that the move will help avert the potential crisis associated with the seat if the reverse was the case, adding that “a clear message has to be sent.
“I have seen a number of countries on this continent where issues such as this one have created so much confusion in a parliament.”
Citing an instance in Malawi, he explained that the issue of timing has to be left to the interpretation of the constitutional lawyers.
However, he believes the Fomena constituency seat in the House must be filled as soon as possible despite the proximity to the December 7, presidential and parliamentary elections.
“I don’t think that the seat should be left empty… I think everybody needs to be represnted.We shouldnt have any vacuum in our parliament.
“Some will say it is going to be an unnecessary cost but I guess we have chosen the democratic path and we have to abide by all the provisions. We can’t pick and choose,” he added.