Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has reversed his decision after initially ordering that Parliament retain the name of James Gyakye Quayson in its records.
The Speaker expressed uncertainty regarding the clarity of the Court’s order and believed that Parliament as a whole should make a collective decision on the matter.
This was after the Supreme Court recently made public the full reasoning behind its decision to declare the Assin North MP’s victory unconstitutional.
On May 17, the apex court ruled that Mr Quayson should be expunged from Parliament’s records as a Member of Parliament.
But speaking in the House on Thursday, Mr Bagbin explained that “the order did not say the Speaker should expunge [Gyakye Qyayson].”
“It did not say any Member of Parliament or Clerk should expunge [the name], it says the institution called Parliament. So that institution must carry out the order. The only way the institution can carry out the order is for the institution to reason together. And that is only done in a sitting where the opportunity is given to members to think through it,” he told the Parliamentarians.
In the May 17 ruling, Presiding Judge Justice Jones Dotse stated that the Electoral Commission (EC) had acted unconstitutionally by allowing Quayson to contest the 2020 parliamentary elections without providing proof of renouncing his Canadian citizenship.
The case was brought forward by Michael Ankomah Nimfah, a resident of the constituency.
Nimfah argued that Quayson, at the time of filing his nomination form in October 2020, was not eligible to contest as a member of Parliament for the Assin North Constituency.
Following the court’s ruling, the Clerk of Parliament wrote to the Electoral Commission (EC) declaring the Assin North seat vacant, leading to the scheduling of a by-election for June 27.
However, Speaker Alban Bagbin now supports the idea of retaining Quayson’s name in Parliament’s records.
He has taken this path because he does not “want to assume powers that are not clearly spelt out in any law.”
“So I did indicate and mentioned to some members of the Supreme Court that there is a need for clarification,” he explained.
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