18th May 2024

James Gyakye Quayson

The Parliament of Ghana has officially declared the Assin North seat vacant following a Supreme Court ruling that deemed the election of James Gyakye Quayson unconstitutional. In a statement issued by the Clerk to Parliament, Cyril Kwabena Oteng Nsiah, it was announced that the judgment, dated May 17, 2023, in the case of ‘Michael Ankomah Nimfah vrs James Grake Quasson, The Electoral Commission of Ghana, and The Attorney-General’, has necessitated the vacancy.

This was contained in a formal notification addressed to the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Jean Adukwei Mensa, by the Clerk to Parliament.

Battle ready

While the declaration of the Assin North seat as vacant is pending, both major political parties, the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), have already shifted their focus to another constituency in the Central region, preparing for what is expected to be a heated contest. The NPP sees this contest as an opportunity to strengthen its claim of “breaking the eight” by securing a win in the constituency. Conversely, the NDC aims to demonstrate its superiority over the seat it previously controlled and prove its readiness to challenge for power in the 2024 general elections.

The NPP, buoyed by its recent victory in the Kumawu by-election held on May 23 in the Ashanti Region, believes it has a good chance of winning the Assin North seat if a by-election is declared. However, the NDC, which emerged victorious in the 2020 elections with James Gyakye Quayson, is determined to retain the seat.

Campaign activities have already commenced, with prominent figures from both parties actively canvassing for support on the ground. Last night, the NDC organized a candlelit vigil, drawing a massive crowd in support of the embattled Mr. Quayson.

The Supreme Court’s ruling on May 17 declared Quayson’s election as MP for Assin North unconstitutional and ordered Parliament to remove his name from its records. However, before Parliament could reconvene to carry out the court’s order, the NPP and the NDC swiftly launched their campaigns, crisscrossing the constituency in anticipation of a possible by-election.

In response to the developments, the NDC has made its stance clear, stating that it will throw its full weight behind James Quayson in any future by-election in Assin North. Fifi Fiavi Kwetey, the General Secretary of the NDC, emphasized the party’s unwavering support for Quayson, affirming that the entire party, including the Minority Caucus in Parliament, will work tirelessly to secure a resounding victory for him in the upcoming by-election.

The Assin North constituency is now poised for a fiercely contested electoral battle, as both the NPP and the NDC vie for control of the seat. The outcome of this by-election will likely have implications for the political landscape in Ghana as the parties seek to solidify their positions ahead of the 2024 general elections.

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