Assin North residents call for free, fair, transparent by-election

Electoral Commission

Many residents in the Assin North Constituency have called on the Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana and other state institutions to ensure a free, fair and transparent election in the impending by-election to deepen Ghana’s democratic credentials.

They said, a transparent election devoid of disputes was pivotal to the peace and cohesion the district enjoyed and the panacea to attract and retain investment drive to accelerate development.

To them, the crucial test for Ghana’s democracy was the negotiation of an acceptable interface between elections and democratic governance, institution-building, job creation and economic growth, to enrich the dignity of the Ghanaian.

The residents gave the admonition in separate interviews with the Ghana News Agency at Assin-Breku, the District capital.

A Cape Coast High Court at its sitting on Wednesday, July 28, ordered a fresh election to be conducted in the constituency after restraining Mr James Gyekye Quayson, the Member of Parliament (MP) from holding himself as an MP for the Area.

In its ruling, the court presided by Justice Kwasi Boakye, declared the election of the MP as illegal and void in contravention of article 94 (2) of the 1992 constitution and ordered the EC to organize a new election to elect an MP.

This is because Mr Quayson, the then Parliamentary Candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), held allegiance to the Canadian government as at the time he filed his nomination to contest the seat during the 2020 general election.

Mr Samuel Danso expressed worry over the ensuing political and legal gymnastics in the constituency and its dire negative impact, especially on development.

According to him, the socio-political anxiety had created an atmosphere of apparent insecurity and its possible retardation to development efforts could not be overlooked.

He advised political parties to thoroughly scrutinize their parliamentary candidates to avoid the recurrence of such avoidable by-elections that drained the limited state resources.

Mr Nathaniel Nkyi, a teacher urged the prospective Parliamentary candidates, voters and citizens not to take the peace of the area for granted, but conduct themselves in a manner that fosters unity, irrespective of ethnic, religious, gender or political differences and affiliations.

He urged political parties to commit to ensure the peace and stability of the nation before, during and after the by-election to uphold and maintain Ghana’s reputation as the pacesetter in democratic governance on the Continent.

Mr Solomon Botwe, a political activist appealed to political parties to respect the Vigilantism and Related Offences Act 2019 (Act 999) whilst planning their campaign activities towards by-election.

He noted that if political parties respected the Act, the country would once again advance its democratic credentials with yet another smooth and peaceful election in the area.

“The Security Agencies are encouraged to enforce the Vigilantism and Related Offences Act 2019 (Act 999) to the latter without any fear or favour especially during this by-election and beyond,” he stated.

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