Even before the dust could settle on his tussle with the Supreme Court over the validity of his election as the representative of the people of Assin North, Mr James Gyakye Quayson has again declared his intention to contest in the upcoming bye-election set for June 27, 2023 on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
The Assin North seat in parliament has become vacant due to a Supreme Court ruling on May 17, 2023 which declared Mr Quayson’s parliamentary membership in the 2020 elections as unconstitutional and subsequently directed parliament to expunge his name from parliamentary records.
Acting on the directives, Parliament, on May 30, 2023 declared the seat vacant, a development that paved way for the Electoral Commission to schedule a by-election in the constituency on June 27, 2023.
The Chronicle yesterday sighted a four-page letter signed by Mr Quayson, indicating his intention to contest in the by-election.
According to Mr Gyakye Quayson, the most important thing to him is to contest in the election and win, so that he will be able to serve the people of Assin North constituency well.
Stating why he wants to contest, Mr Quayson said the constituents of Assin North have become like the people of SALL Traditional Area, who have been denied representation in the 8th parliament of the 4th Republic. He said the situation is unacceptable and would change once the by-election is held.
“…Since last year, April, when the Supreme Court stopped me from performing my duties as your representative in Parliament, you have been without representation in the 8th Parliament of the 4th Republic.
Like the people of the SALL Traditional Areas, who are excluded from representation in this Parliament, you the people of Assin North too have been in that unacceptable situation for over a year. The by-election, which must be held within thirty days of the decision of the Supreme Court, according to the Constitution (Article 112(5)), will bring an end to this situation.”
He also noted that the constituents of AssinNorth have been living in abject stagnation due to years of neglect and that was why he contested the parliamentary seat in the 2020 elections, to enable him change the narrative, but the court issues injunction and the subsequent declaration of his election as unconstitutional did not permit him to execute that mandate.
He observed that the people of Assin North want him to lead as their MP and that has been evident in the support and encouragement shown him since the commencement of the court case. He said he received messages of encouragement from people within and outside Ghana, hence his decision to contest in the bye-election.
“…I have been deeply touched by the amazing support and encouragement from you in the constituency after the Supreme Court decision on 17th May, 2023. I was particularly moved by your show of love and support through the vigil organised by the youth at Assin Bereku on Sunday 28th May, 2023. The massive attendance showed the depth of the support and encouragement I am receiving. I was really touched.
“Even before the Supreme Court’s decision, you, my constituents, have been sending me your messages of support and encouragement and I am deeply grateful. I have also received support and encouragement from many in this constituency and beyond (including some outside Ghana), who are not necessarily NDC members, but who continue to demonstrate their outrage at the injustice I am being subjected to, in my bid to serve my people. I am grateful for all the support,” he said.
In order to prevent his opponents from relying on the issue to discredit his candidature, Mr Gyakye Quayson assured his constituents that no one has been able to produce any evidence to refute his claims of renouncing his Canadian citizenship and that makes him a valid candidate.
“I renounced my Canadian citizenship in December, 2019 and returned to Ghana to serve you, my people of Assin North. When I declared on my Nomination Forms in October, 2020 that l owed no allegiance to any country other than Ghana, that was, indeed, the truth. To date, no one has provided any evidence that I owed allegiance to Canada at the time I filed my nominations and when I was elected and sworn in as your Member of Parliament,” he indicated.
He expressed his appreciation to the leadership of the NDC for their support and the confidence they have reposed in him before, during and after the court issue.
“I remain eternally grateful to the leadership of the NDC for the solid support I have enjoyed from day one…I really appreciate the confidence that the party has reposed in me.”
He also thanked the constituents for their support and urged them to come out in their numbers to vote for him, so he can return to Parliament and continue the work that he began on their behalf.