The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has cleared six of the eight candidates aspiring to contest for the vacant Kumawu parliamentary seat. According to the chairman of the Vetting Committee, Danquah Smith Buttey, two persons are yet to go through the vetting process and that the six who have been cleared would soon have their balloting.
He would not mention the names of the two whose fate hang in a balance, neither would he assign any reasons, saying the issues therein are internal.
The Chronicle has, however, gathered that one of the disqualified candidates, whose name is being withheld, holds a dual citizenship. He is allegedly holding both Ghana and United States of America passports.
Article 94 (1) of the 1992 Constitute directs that; “subject to the provisions of this article, a person shall not be qualified to be a Member of Parliament unless –
(a) he is a citizen of Ghana, has attained the age of twenty-one years and is a registered voter,
(b) he is resident in the constituency for which he stands as a candidate for election to Parliament or has resided there for a total period of not less than five years out of the ten years immediately preceding the election for which he stands, or he hails from that constituency; and
(c) he has paid all his taxes or made arrangements satisfactory to the appropriate authority for the payment of his taxes.
(2) A person shall not be qualified to be a Member of Parliament if he—(a) owes allegiance to a country other than Ghana…
To avoid any legal battle after the candidate had gone through the vetting and subsequently win the seat, the committee decided to reject his nomination.
The Ghanaian courts had tried and continue to trial some Members of Parliament who reportedly held dual citizenship at the time they filed to contest an election in Ghana.
It is, however, unclear if the said disqualified candidate had renounced his American citizenship before applying to enter parliament, but that was not enough to convince the Vetting Committee to pass him.
The Electoral Commission has officially announced Tuesday May 23, 2023 for the by-election for the Kumawu parliamentary seat, which was necessitated by the demise of the sitting Member of Parliament, Philip Atta Basoah and subsequent declaration of the seat vacant by the Speaker of Parliament.