The National Communications Officer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Sammy Gyamfi, has described the Supreme Court’s reasoning for ordering Parliament to expunge James Gyakye Quayson’s name from its records as strange.
Citing the ‘Nduom case,’ Mr Gyamfi said the new ruling of the apex court is inconsistent with earlier rulings on similar cases.
According to him, the apex court ought to have given the embattled former Assin North MP an opportunity to correct any anomaly with his nomination.
“The decision of the Supreme Court to annul Hon. Gyakye Quayson’s election is solely based on the fact that, at the time he submitted his nomination form to the EC on 9th October, 2020, he had not received his certificate of renunciation of his Canadian citizenship and that he received same on 26th November, 2020.”
“Even if we are to go by this strange position of the Supreme Court that qualification must be at the time of NOMINATION and not ELECTION, it is important to remind the Supreme Court that in the Nduom case, they held in effect, that the nomination period for an election, must extend beyond the submission of nomination forms, and must include the period the EC uses to scrutinize submitted results, within which the EC is supposed to give candidates a hearing and an opportunity to rectify any anomalies on their nomination form,” he said in a press release he issued on Monday, June 5.
“The nomination period therefore terminates after the EC has scrutinized submitted nomination forms, given candidates a hearing and an opportunity to rectify any anomalies on same, and has reached a decision on the validity or otherwise of the nomination of the candidate,” he added.
Meanwhile, Mr Gyamfi is confident that the Assin North constituents will vote for Mr Quayson in the by-election as a matter of justice to him.
James Gyakye Quayson’s name was expunged from Parliament as the Member of Parliament for Assin North following a ruling by the Supreme Court in May 2023.
Parliament then expunged his name, declaring the seat vacant and paving the way for a by-election on June 27.
The Supreme Court ruled that Mr Quayson was not qualified to contest the 2020 parliamentary election at the time he filed his nomination forms on October 9, 2020.
The Court found that Mr Quayson had not shown evidence of renouncing his Canadian citizenship, and that the Electoral Commission had granted him permission to contest the election without this evidence.
The Court further ruled that Mr Quayson’s election was unconstitutional.
The 7-member Court in a unanimous ruling stated that “the qualification of holding only Ghanaian citizenship must be present at the time of nomination, and not any date thereafter.”
The Court also held that “any person, who has obtained citizenship of another country other than Ghana, and who files for nomination with the Electoral Commission to contest for election as a Member of Parliament will not be qualified to contest for elections unless and until they show a record from the alternate State that they no longer hold the citizenship of that State as at the date of filing their nominations with the Electoral Commission.”
“Since Mr Quayson had not received his certificate of renunciation as a Canadian citizen as of October 9, 2020, he was not qualified to be a Member of Parliament at the time he filed his nomination papers, at the time he stood for election, and at the time he was declared as elected Member of Parliament.”
“This court has to, therefore, reiterate its earlier conclusion that the qualification of holding only Ghanaian citizenship must be present at the time of nomination, and not any date thereafter – in this case by 9th October 2020.”