The disgruntled Member of Parliament for Assin North, James Gyakye Quayson, says he leaves the matter of his political debacle to the court of conscience, which he claims, supersedes all other courts including the Supreme Court.
Yesterday, the Supreme Court, by a unanimous decision, ordered the Parliament of Ghana to expunge James Gyakye Quayson’s name from its records as a Member of Parliament for the people of Assin North.
According to the Court, the Electoral Commission’s decision to allow him to contest in the 2020 elections as a parliamentary candidate for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), constituted an act unconstitutionality.
This is because Mr Quayson was said to have no proof at that time that he had denounced his Canadian citizenship when he filed his nomination in October, 2020 to contest the parliamentary elections, which was held on the 7th of December 2020.
Reaction by Quayson
Reacting to the ruling that ordered parliament to expunge his name from the house’s records, Mr Quayson took to his Facebook page and penned down an emotional message to his constituents.
The message also gave a brief background to how the issue, which started right from the first day he was to be sworn in as a member of the 8th parliament under the fourth republic in January 2021.
“Nevertheless, I have turned the page on litigating this matter in the courts of justice. I leave the matter to the court of conscience, which Ghandi reminds us, supersedes all other courts.
“I Remain Committed to the Development of Assin North Constituency and Her People… I assure my constituents that nothing has changed, and I will work even harder than before to win their support and to attain these goals”.
Disappointed by the Supreme Court’s ruling
“I am, of course, disappointed by the Court’s decision. I am especially surprised that the Court now says that foreign bureaucrats now determine whether natural born Ghanaians have the right to contest for parliamentary elections in Ghana or not.
“Thus, a country that does not allow renunciation of its citizenship can bar a natural born Ghanaian, who has severed all relations with a country of acquired citizenship, from ever standing for MP,” he said.
Brief background as given by Mr Quayson
According to him, it has been a matter of public record that he filed for the renunciation of his Canadian citizenship in December, 2019 with all records indicating that he left Canada in February, 2020.
“It is also a matter of record that as soon as I applied for renunciation of my Canadian citizenship and left Canada, I lost all the rights of Canadian citizenship. It is also a matter of record that I picked up my renunciation certificate from the Canadian Embassy in Accra in November, 2020”, he explained
He clarified in his post that Canadian law did not say that owe allegiance to Canada, even after filing for renunciation saying the law is unequivocal that disavowal of allegiance is subjective and can be done at any time.
This, he stated, also included immediately after swearing the oath of citizenship thus, under Canadian law, he owed no allegiance to Canada at all material times.
EC’s role before he contested
Mr Quayson contended that the EC inspected his renunciation certificate in November 2020, prior to allowing him to contest the elections held in December and the EC gave him the green light because he was duly qualified to contest.
“Yet, the Court holds that I should have offered this proof to the EC at the time of filing for my nomination and then applies the holding retrospectively to disqualify me”.
All these explanations notwithstanding, the Supreme Court, which is the highest court in the country ruled in a unanimous decision that Mr Quayson was not eligible to contest for the position in the first place.
In 7-0 decision, the court further ordered that Mr James Gyakye Quayson’s name be expunged from the books of the law making arm of government.
Show of appreciation to constituents.
He acknowledged that he has gone through turbulent times since his fight against the law for his freedom to be in parliament began in January 2021.
“I thank the good people of Assin-North, the leadership of the NDC, my attorneys, and the numerous Ghanaians, from all sides of the political divide, who have supported me during these turbulent times.
“Together, we must ensure that we build a progressive and inclusive society that does not treat any of our citizens as second-class citizens…May God bless our homeland Ghana, and bless my beloved Assin North Constituency and her people,” he said.